Price transparency continues to be a growing trend in the healthcare industry thanks to patient need and CMS rules. Providers with a well designed patient financial experience that includes pre-service options are finding increased patient engagement and significant gains in collections pre-visit.
Is a pre-service program worthwhile and how is pre-service for patient financial experiences being leveraged today in Ohio hospitals? Keep reading to learn how.
The State of the Patient
75% of patients fear a bill of $500. That’s it. Just $500.
For many, the demand for better price transparency is rooted in the fear of the patient that they will be unable to meet their financial obligations.
It’s a gut punch on a personal level – nobody wants to see hard working, American families across the nation have to choose between which bills they can and can’t pay. The patient need for price transparency is forcing rapid changes to their needs and buying behavior.
Outside of emergency procedures (where patients have less control on where they obtain services) patients are starting to migrate to health systems offering better price transparency and more bill pay options.
Price Transparency in Ohio
In the state of Ohio, the conversation around the right way to provide patients with timely estimates has been carrying on for some time. Regardless of the new CMS Rule requiring hospitals to post their chargemasters, Ohio hospitals have been dedicated to providing patients with better price transparency and higher quality pre-service information prior to the rule: Ohio hospitals already posted the pricing for their top 100 most common procedures.
The new CMS Rule and the statewide Ohio initiative have been controversial because posting a chargemaster can lead to more confusion for patients as it ultimately doesn’t do enough to address their needs.
Simplee recently partnered with the Ohio Hospital Association to join the conversation and to learn more about the tactics that Ohio hospitals are using to improve patient experience and to offer some of the strategies that we’ve learned working with health systems across the country.
One area where we already agree is that the demand from patients is not for generalized pricing. Instead, patients want an easy way to learn and address personal cost.
“We believe that the out-of-pocket expense for the patient is really what they’re interested in. We don’t believe that this chargemaster requirement really gets them that kind of information.” – Sean McGlone of the Ohio Hospital Association.
Not receiving out-pocket-expense information proactively from hospitals lowers patient satisfaction and forces the patient to reach out to the hospital for clarification. It’s a time investment for everyone.
Conversely, hospitals that take an active approach in providing patients with personalized estimates are seeing increased worker productivity, patient satisfaction, and pre-service collections.
“In addition to focusing on physical access points we need to further engage technologies that will improve the convenience for patients and families. We all know family time is limited and precious, coupled with busy work lives. Many are now faced with facilitating care for not only themselves, but children and aging parents, so efficiency, transparency and coordination of care will be essential.”- John Weimer, Kettering Health Network
Across the nation, hospitals are striving for better solutions to provide patients with more personalized financial information ahead of their visits. Florida based AdventHealth took this approach and saw their Net Promoter Score, a measure of consumer loyalty- grow to twice the healthcare average while also reaching an average of $450 in collections ahead of visits.
It’s clear that hospitals who invest in pre-service with personalized information put themselves far ahead of those lagging behind growing consumer concern.
It will be interesting to see how Ohio hospitals and others continue to address the increasing patient demand around pre-service and the success they achieve.