Critical Components to Achieving Payment Assurance Through Patient Engagement

There’s a lamentably oppositional relationship between patients and their insurers, which interpolates itself into interactions throughout the healthcare space.  But at Obility, we’re actively working to change that.

This post is about strategies critical to achieving payment assurance through patient engagement.  When patients are engaged and informed about projected billings, there’s much less likelihood of delays in payment.

It’s all in how you engage with patients. Billing services can change the game by implementing effective patient engagement strategies which break the accounts receivable bottleneck and reduce the high cost of chasing payment.

Technology

Deploying technology is part of the answer.  In fact, it’s a key piece of the puzzle. Obility’s Patient Advocates have previously performed administrative tasks, like verifying benefits, discerning the status of authorization required, cross-referencing billings and obtaining patient deductibles.  

Time-consuming and labor-intensive, we knew there had to be a better way than Patient Advocates spending 30 minutes to an hour with each patient to unravel their coverage.

Technology changed all that, streamlining the process and offering superior accuracy.  Obility worked with a developer to provide a software solution to support the work of Patient Advocates, making their job much more about a satisfying experience for patients.  This was achieved by eliminating the more frustrating aspects of their work.

In short, technology serves to provide us with an accurate, efficient means of educating patients as to what they’re paying for.

What can technology do better?

In Obility’s case, we discovered that our patient intake and follow up processes were supported by technology which took the time-consuming work of confirming and defining coverage and out of pocket expenses out of Patient Advocates’ hands.  This freed them to create a more patient-friendly system, whereby the original Patient Advocate at intake is the same one who works with the patient throughout the follow-up process.

With a streamlined verification process which eliminates the possibility of human error, patients are less confused, better educated about their benefits and more efficiently served.

With code-driven data, we’re doing more than verifying benefits.  We’re cross-referencing policies with billing and diagnosis codes.  Real-time transparency about what’s covered (and what’s not) allows us to interact authoritatively with patients, so they know exactly where they stand.

Patients need you to know

The commercialized and labyrinthine nature of healthcare in the USA is an invitation for organizations like Obility to create enviable service to patients in the system.  It must be remembered that these are people facing health crises which are impacting their lives. They need you to know what you’re talking about.

And technology can get you there, freeing staff like Patient Advocates to educate, support and guide patients through the system with less frustration.

The integration of software clarifies the way forward in terms of how to talk to patients about their financial responsibilities, making what can be a difficult process more pleasant by setting the stage for genuine engagement.  

These strategies empower you to empower your patients with superior knowledge.

We will be presenting Five Strategies Critical to Achieve Payment Assurance Through Patient Engagement on October 15-17 at HBMA 2018: Healthcare Revenue Cycle Conference. In addition to leading this session, I’m looking forward to connecting with my colleagues, expanding my knowledge, and gaining a deeper understanding of the trends affecting the healthcare revenue cycle management industry. Register today to join me in Charlotte this October. hbma.org/fall18

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