Patients are setting the bar higher than ever. They are demanding not only more transparency into hospitals’ clinical performance, but also greater convenience in all aspects of how they plan and pay for care. The shift to patient-driven revenue streams has introduced many new challenges for providers—but it has also created opportunities for providers who are able to deliver superior patient experiences in both the clinical and financial dimensions.
How Consumer Expectations Have Changed
Consumers’ baseline expectations of healthcare providers have increased dramatically as a result of their experiences with more consumer-centric industries. Amazon is the best example of this trend, providing an experience that is fast, comprehensive, and easy to navigate in a consumer-directed environment. It’s also extremely easy to pay for things. Now that people are getting used to this type of convenient self-service experience, they don’t want to settle for anything less.
It would be a huge mistake for healthcare providers to ignore this shift in expectations, because new options are proliferating in the healthcare space. Consumer-focused companies like CVS have started directly competing with hospitals by offering a growing range of urgent care and outpatient services. Competition for this business is critical, because many established providers are depending on these same revenue streams to shore up their position in the market.
In this increasingly competitive and consumer-driven environment, Amazon-like customer service is no longer a “nice to have” differentiator—it’s rapidly become a “must have” requirement for every provider. This is especially true when you consider the habits of the rising millennial generation. These young adults grew up online and have a low threshold for anything inconvenient or slow. If they can’t quickly get the information or service that they need, they’ll be looking somewhere else before you can even say “please hold.”
It’s really that important.
Why You Should Focus on the Financial Dimension
Financial concerns are top of mind for the vast majority of patients today because they are directly responsible for a growing share of healthcare costs. Moreover, patients typically have to deal with payments both before and after a clinical encounter. Their experience with administrative and financial issues affects the way that patients view their entire episode of care.
Despite the miracles performed in hospitals every day, these facilities and their hard-working staff often catch a bad rap because great clinical experiences can quickly be overshadowed by frustration with billing practices or other negative experiences on the financial side. In many cases, a patient’s anxiety about cost or dissatisfaction with the billing process will lead them to postpone or delay care—or refuse to pay their bill after the fact. On the other hand, a positive administrative experience in the lead-up to a procedure helps give patients confidence that everything will go well. In turn, they’ll be more comfortable moving forward and meeting their financial responsibility.
The best way to achieve this positive experience is to give patients the same type of self-directed environment and easy-to-use tools that they’ve grown accustomed to using as active consumers. When patients have the ability to manage medical expenses the same way they manage other household bills, the focus of their experience is on the care they receive, which is where hospitals really shine.
Provide Excellence in Your Patients’ Financial Experience with Loyale
Loyale’s Patient Financial Manager is designed to help hospitals meet the challenge of rising expectations and provide the level of convenience, personalization, and overall excellence that patients expect. Our platform provides the adaptability, reliability, and interoperability to ensure fast starts, high adoption, and measurable outcomes across even the most complex systems – not only now, but also in the future.
Our ultimate goal is to bring the financial dimension of healthcare up to the same standards of excellence that have always been the norm on the clinical side. The combination of clinical and administrative superiority is tough to beat and helps keep patients happy, satisfied, and loyal.