When we talk about the importance of improving your revenue cycle management (RCM), we often frame those improvements within the context of your business and income. Increasing revenue, saving time and reducing administrative costs are the major benefits of strengthening and streamlining your RCM process.
But there’s another benefit to RCM improvements that we don’t jump to right away (but perhaps we should): Enhancing your RCM is also about improving patient satisfaction. The steps you take to create a healthy revenue stream can build trust and loyalty with your clients.
Here are three key RCM improvements you can make to enhance the patient experience.
1. Provide Upfront Estimates to Create Clarity and Build Trust
Surveys consistently show that patients want upfront cost estimates for care. Most recently, the Experian Health 2023 State of Patient Access report revealed that 40% of patients would cancel or postpone treatment without an accurate cost estimate.
Moreover, that same Experian report showed that 75% of providers surveyed said accurate, upfront estimates led to better collections. Nearly 90% of those providers also believed it was important for their organizations to improve the financial experience for patients.
When looking at ways to enhance your RCM process, streamlining your insurance verification and cost estimates create a better patient experience and improve your collections. As the Experian survey (and many others) shows, patients with a better understanding of care costs are more likely to keep an appointment, pay for that care and stay loyal to a practice.
Plus, by collecting upfront on those care estimates, your business can improve its bottom line and rely less on the insurance reimbursement process for revenue.
2. Streamline Claim Processing to Avoid Confusion and Friction
A successful medical practice relies on a healthy revenue cycle. Whether you use an in-house or outsourced biller, streamlining your claims process with efficient and automated workflows can help your bottom line by reducing denials and rejections.
But a better claims process not only improves your revenue, it can also result in happier patients. When you follow RCM best practices, your claims process should be relatively smooth and straightforward, so patients won’t have to wade through confusing claim denials or surprise bills.
An automated claims process can result in quicker reimbursement for your practice. The faster you receive payment (or remittance) from insurers, the less time patients wait to receive an invoice for their balance. Avoiding long gaps between the time of care and patient invoicing can help ensure the patient pays promptly. It can also prevent the need for refunding patients if they overpay for care.
3. Establish Consistent, Customized Communications to Keep Patients Informed
Improving patient satisfaction also comes down to improving your patient invoicing process. Surveys routinely show that patients are less likely to pay a medical bill if they have a poor billing experience. That’s why it’s critical to incorporate clear, consistent patient billing communication into your revenue cycle.
These days, there may be better ways to reach and engage your patients than a generic paper invoice. They may prefer email or text invoices. Patients also want to know who the invoice is coming from — is it a practice or a clinician name they recognize?
You’ll likely see higher collection rates by customizing your invoicing communications to meet your patients’ preferences. Patients will also be more informed about the cost of care because you’re reaching them on the communication channels they use. Ultimately, this will boost your patient experience and your practice’s revenue.
Improving Patient Satisfaction: A Boon to Your Bottom Line
Providing upfront estimates, streamlining your claims process and customizing your invoicing communications will all boost your practice’s revenue. Beyond that, these best practices will also help patients better understand their cost of care, bolstering their trust in your practice and improving their overall experience.
And while a better revenue cycle will undoubtedly improve your bottom line, it will also create happier patients. Happy patients lead to better client retention and more referrals, which build revenue and growth for your practice.
Ready to reap the benefits of a streamlined revenue cycle? Whether you want to automate your claims process or streamline patient payment workflows, Gentem can help. Our AI-driven software and team of RCM experts are ready to help you grow revenue. Book an intro call today to learn more.