How one physician provider group reduced billing staff by 25% using an AI-driven chatbot

We’ve all heard a lot about staffing shortages coming out of the pandemic. Unfortunately, one of the areas hardest hit was, and continues to be, healthcare. And it’s having a significant impact on both hospitals and their patients.

According to a recent HealthDay/Harris Poll, consumers are being more affected by staffing shortages in healthcare than they are in retail, hospitality, education, customer support and manufacturing. Not only does this make it more difficult for providers to serve their patients, they are also paying higher wages, putting more pressure on already challenging financial situations for many.

Automating non-clinical activities with chatbots

On the billing side, one of our clients, a large, multi-specialty physician group and healthcare management organization with more than 20K physicians and advanced practice providers operating in over 40 states in the U.S. is addressing this challenge by using Flywire’s revenue cycle-focused, AI-driven chatbot. The technology supports patients 24/7, answering billing questions, providing balance information, and surfacing payment options to patients. It is an entirely customizable tool that leverages state-of-the-art machine learning technology, helping providers dramatically reduce customer support costs.

By offloading some of the more frequently asked questions patients’ billing and payment-related inquiries to the chatbot, the multi-speciality physician group is gaining some dramatic efficiencies:

  • Over 90% of inbound inquiries can be handled through the chatbot
  • Faster resolution of patient’s billing and payment-related inquiries
  • A25% reduction in staffing workload and requirements
  • Higher patient satisfaction levels

Why is it working?

  • Patients need access to 24/7 support. They want the ability to find answers to their questions when it is the most convenient for them. In this instance, 20% of chatbot activity for this physician group is happening after hours. Increased availability means faster resolution for all involved.
  • AI-driven communications can address most billing and payment-related questions. To date, 92% of patient's questions directed at the chatbot have been answered solely by the chatbot. The other 8% were passed to live agents. This relieves a big burden on staff and frees them up to focus on higher value activities. It also reduces the number of inquiries to the contact center.
  • Automating these tasks saves significant time and money. The role of these types of communication technologies is to automate the workflow around patient communications, while still providing patients with a satisfying experience. In this case, the physician group has been able to achieve an estimated $960k in annual savings by reducing staff burden and costs, while enhancing service levels. These were also roles it was having a lot of difficulty recruiting and hiring for.

Flywire’s conversational chat technology is designed to enrich the patient experience and add to providers’ digital engagement strategies. It can quickly answer billing-related questions, enable patients to easily inquire about balances and set up payment plans on their own, aid in financial assistance qualification, and ensure the availability of 24/7 assistance. And with its machine learning capability, it learns from interactions and responds more effectively to patient inquiries.

Learn more about Flywire's patient payment experience.