Patients & The Billing Process
Here at Welter Healthcare Partners, we acknowledge and applaud the dedication of revenue cycle leaders who tirelessly work to benefit patients, including financially. A critical aspect of ensuring a positive patient experience is providing education to guide them through the billing process.
At a recent HealthLeaders Patient Financial Experience Summit, Mary Neal, AVP of Revenue Cycle at Ochsner Health, and Savanah Arceneaux, Director of Pre-Service and Financial Clearance at Ochsner Health, joined a summit session to discuss strategies for creating and streamlining patient education resources. These strategies aim to improve patient satisfaction, particularly in the face of challenges like the No Surprises Act.
Patient Billing Challenges
Revenue cycle staff are faced with the complexities of billing statements and good faith estimates, placing a significant burden on their shoulders when assisting patients in navigating these intricate documents. In todays landscape a subpar financial experience can overshadow a five-star clinical encounter. Therefore, revenue cycle leaders are under increasing pressure to streamline processes for their patients. So, what’s the key to addressing this challenge? Neal and Arceneaux emphasize the importance of comprehensive patient education. Additionally, emphasis on payer and cost education throughout the revenue cycle is crucial.
“In recent years, payers have shifted more financial responsibility onto patients, presenting a significant challenge. This shift has driven us to reevaluate our long-term strategic vision for creating a more consumer-friendly experience. We’ve opened a digital front door, offering patients various options to access resources and education about their plans,” noted Arceneaux. This approach has led Ochsner to embrace services and technology that facilitate closer patient engagement and connection even before their scheduled visit.
“While we aim to collect owed payments as a patient-centered organization, we also want to involve our patients every step of the way. We strive to ensure they are financially informed before their visits, contributing to their overall satisfaction,” Arceneaux added.