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4 Steps to Designing a Superior Patient Experience

4 Steps to Designing a Superior Patient Experience

Designing a Superior Patient Experience

We live in a world of increasingly lofty consumer expectations—one where 44% of U.S. consumers will switch to a competitor following a poor customer service experience.

The medical industry is no exception to this trend.

In a study by PatientPop, 58 percent of Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen Xers, as well as 63 percent of individuals 55 and older, said that responsiveness to follow-up questions via email or phone outside of the appointment is critical or very important to overall satisfaction.

Patients want more than just excellent care from their healthcare providers. They expect easy access to medical records, convenient online scheduling and appointment reminders, prompt responsiveness, and painless ways to contact your office—24/7/365. And they’re also seeking compassionate and knowledgeable representatives who are willing to provide caring and accurate resolutions to their issues.

As a medical provider, you should not only focus on bringing in new patients but also continually strive to improve patient retention. Growth in customer retention rates by 5 percent can increase profitability anywhere from 25 to 95 percent, after all.

So how do you design an experience that increases patient satisfaction and retention? Let’s dive in.

1: Make Prompt Call Answering & Convenient Appointment Scheduling A Priority

As we mention above, patients want—and nowadays expect—your office to answer quickly as well as provide effective and swift resolutions to their health matters. But in a busy office, the staff is often focused on dealing with patients. Even front desk and administrative teams can become inundated with in-office tasks at a busy practice, leaving calls, messages, and emails unanswered.

A superior patient experience starts with prompt call answering and convenient appointment scheduling—a service that’s available to your patients whenever they need you, including weekends and holidays, and answers every call addresses delicate patient concerns with empathy, and schedules appointments quickly. If your staff is struggling to keep up with demand, consider outsourcing your phone answering and appointment scheduling. Not only will this improve patient satisfaction, but it also brings a sense of work-life balance to internal staff and allows you and your team to focus on what you do best; caring for patients.

2: Streamline and Perfect Your Patient Intake Process

The patient intake process is tedious, but it’s incredibly important to your operations, and speed and accuracy are vital. Streamlining and perfecting patient intake starts with leveraging the right software—one that makes it easy for patients to fill in their information and access their records, and provides all of the valuable data your practice needs to operate in an easy-to-navigate platform. For starters, your intake software should:

  • Be encrypted for data transfer through the internet and HIPAA compliant
  • Be intuitive and user-friendly
  • Not require special software or hardware downloads or installation for the user
  • Be portable into back-end systems

Your intake process should also be integrated with your electronic health records (EHR) software, and information should be updated and available in real-time for a smooth experience—for patients, admin staff, and providers—so that everyone is up-to-speed. Both technology and your process should remove redundancies from your workflow and streamline the intake experience.

3: Provide HIPAA-Compliant Live Chat & Text For Swift and Convenient Communication

Another great way to improve patient experience is via live chat and text, through which you and your staff can communicate with patients wherever they are, send appointment reminders, have two-way private and secure conversations, multitask as needed and be available when emergencies happen.

HIPAA-compliant chat and text messaging lets you communicate efficiently and accurately with patients and simultaneously safeguards electronically protected health information (PHI) while taking full advantage of the speed and flexibility of today’s communication technology.

Some of the many benefits of secure live chat and text in the healthcare realm include:

  • Reduced response times, including in the off-hours and on weekends or holidays
  • Ability to provide immediate recommendations for care and preliminary diagnoses
  • Ability to send follow-ups, like reminding patients to take medications, which creates better relationships between you and your patients
  • Secure PHI storage that acts as a record of past conversations, symptoms, or complaints to improve future care, diagnosis, and treatment plans

4: Leverage Technology and Software Integrations For Smarter Decision-Making

Technology and software integrations have transformed healthcare and are vital in any medical practice. Why? Because when you streamline your office functions and workflows, you improve all aspects of patient care and experience.

First, your office should be using an EHR (electronic health record) system. This system automates access to client information, helping to improve workflows and reduce incidences of errors by improving the accuracy and clarity of medical records. It should include all the key clinical data relevant to each patient’s care, including:

  • Demographics
  • Progress notes
  • Problems
  • Medications
  • Vital signs
  • Past medical history
  • Immunizations
  • Laboratory data
  • Radiology reports

Communication data collected throughout your patients’ experience with your office—such as phone conversations, appointment scheduling, and reminders, and live chat and text transcripts—should also be sent to and recorded in your EHR system.

Finally, the right software can help you make better patient and business decisions. For instance, maybe you want to know the percentage of patient calls versus the percentage of calls from hospitals that come into your office. Or, maybe you want to know which hospitals call you the most or you want to know the main reasons patients call so you can use that information to improve patient care and education.

How The Highest-Performing Medical Practices Prioritize Patient Experience

Medical practices that provide a superior service experience are available to their patients 24/7, have a streamlined and accurate intake process, are tech-forward, and have omnichannel communication options that empower patients to reach out any time and from anywhere. But most medical practices don’t do it all on their own. The highest-performing medical providers leverage an outside service provider like Nexa to improve client satisfaction, increase retention and grow their revenue. Learn more about how Nexa can help your medical practice level up by visiting nexa.com/medical.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

[ Contribution from the marketing team at Nexa ]

After Pandemic Impact on Outsourcing RCM

After Pandemic Impact on Outsourcing RCM

After Pandemic Impact and Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt in every industry for many months to come. For medical providers, they are facing some of the most challenging financial times they will or have known. Therefore, we understand that it is crucial for providers to re-access their business and look for ways to cut costs with minimal impact on their practice or their patients.

To compound the issues providers are facing, there has been a wave of changes in recent years with new coding and telemedicine requirements that are making it difficult for provider offices to remain independent. Add on the constant rise in the cost of living and expenses while insurance reimbursements continue to decrease, and the issues get worse and worse.

Many have decided that outsourcing to a complete revenue cycle management company could help alleviate some of the undue burdens, cut costs, and keep providers compliant with their coding and billing. Ultimately this allows providers to continue to focus on patient care, which is their goal. As providers, you understand that revenue cycle management is a crucial part of your physician’s office. If not managed properly, it could result in an office leaving thousands of dollars on the table in unclaimed revenue. Over the years, our free audit services have allowed providers to have a free, transparent, and unbiased assessment of how their accounts receivable department functions. We are always amazed at how many providers do their billing in-house, and sometimes even when they outsource,  are not aware of how much money they have sitting in their accounts receivables.  Getting this knowledge is the first step to increasing revenue and efficiency.

In-house medical billers and third-party outsourced revenue cycle management companies should be giving provider offices monthly aging reports to assess their financial forecast. Each accounts receivable bucket over 60 days should hover at approximately 1 0% or less of the entire revenue balance. If account receivable buckets are higher than 10%, providers may be leaving money on the table, and the account may not be getting worked as providers think they are. In efforts to avoid unpaid claims and a spike in accounts receivable, outsourcing your revenue cycle management to a third-party medical billing company, such as BC Medical Billing, could help providers in countless ways. Many practices recognize that keeping their revenue cycle management optimized is key in delivering regular practice operations; however, they are not always sure how to achieve that. Outsourcing may be the solution!

Outsourcing alleviates the practice from managing a new medical billing employee, paying a salary and benefits, completing training and onboarding protocols, and managing the lost time from a learning curve. Many providers feel that it is not a wise use of the back office executive personnel’s time to worry about finding coders in-house and then wondering if the charges are captured and billed correctly. Instead, the business office should be focusing on how to grow the providers and the physician practice.

Our free audits will help you determine if you have found the right solution for you. If not, we are always there to assist and always increase the provider’s revenue.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

[ Contribution from the marketing team at BC Medical Billing ]

Pandemic Impact and Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management

Pandemic Impact and Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt in every industry for many months to come. For medical providers, they are facing some of the most challenging financial times they will ever know. Therefore, we understand that is it crucial for providers to re-assess their business and look for ways to cut costs with minimal impact on their practice of their patients.

To compound the issues providers are facing, there has been a wave of changes in recent years with new coding and telemedicine requirements that are making it difficult for provider offices to remain independent. Add on the constant rise in the cost of living while insurance reimbursements continue to decrease, and the issues get worse and worse.

Many have decided that outsourcing to a complete revenue cycle management company could:

    • help alleviate some of the undue burdens
    • cut costs
    • keep providers compliant with their coding and billing

Ultimately, this allows providers to continue to focus on patient care which is their goal. As providers, you understand that revenue cycle management is a crucial part of your physician’s office. If not managed properly, it could result in an office leaving thousands of dollars on the table in unclaimed revenue. Over the years, our free audit services have allowed providers to have a free, transparent, and unbiased assessment of how their accounts receivable department functions. We are always amazed at how many providers do their billing in-house, and sometimes even when they outsource, are not aware of how much money they have sitting in their accounts receivables. Getting this knowledge is the first step to increasing revenue and efficiency.

In-house medical billers and third-party outsourced revenue cycle management companies should be giving provider offices monthly aging reports to assess their financial forecast. Each accounts receivable buckets over 60 days should hover at approximately 10% or less of the entire revenue balance. If account receivable buckets are higher than 10%, providers may be leaving money on the table, and the account may not be getting worked as providers think they are. In an effort to avoid unpaid claims and a spike in accounts receivable, outsourcing your revenue cycle management to a third-party medical billing company, such as BC Medical Billing, could help providers in countless ways. Many practices recognize that keeping their revenue cycle management optimized is key in delivering regular practice operations; however, they are not always sure how to achieve that. Outsourcing may be the solution!

Outsourcing alleviates the practice from managing a new medical billing employee, paying a salary and benefits, completing training, and onboarding protocols, and managing the lost time from a learning curve. Many providers feel that it is not a wise use of the back office executive personnel’s time to worry about finding coders in-house and then wondering if the charges are captures and billed correctly. Instead, the business office should be focusing on how to grow the providers and the physician practice.

Our free audits will help you determine if you have found the right solution for you. If not, we are always there to assist and increase the provider’s revenue.

 

 

 

6 Keys to Sustaining Your Practice Through the Pandemic

6 Keys to Sustaining Your Practice Through the Pandemic

The SIX KEYS to sustaining your practice through the COVID-19 pandemic are online payments, Telehealth, automation tools, cyber protection, financial aid, and a good patient experience.

When Coronavirus first started to impact medical practices across the country, providers quickly put temporary solutions in place to ensure they were still able to see patients safely. As the pandemic endured, some of these “temporary” solutions became a “normal” part of doing business. While we can’t predict exactly how COVID-19 will affect us in the future, one thing is becoming clearer every day: Some of the changes that have been made in the past few months will shape how healthcare is managed after the global health crisis is over.

So, it’s time to start thinking long-term with your COVID-19 strategy. Here are six ‘keys’ for sustaining your practice right now that will continue to be important after the pandemic is over.

1. ONLINE PAYMENTS
Most businesses already process a good amount of their payments online (including EZClaim), but healthcare has been slow to adapt in this area. Practices no longer have the luxury of taking their time adopting digital payment options. It’s time to give patients what they’ve been wanting for years: the ability to pay their bills online.

Because the pandemic is still with us, contactless payments have surged. No-touch payments are an easy way to reduce the spread of germs, and most people already have the tools they need to complete these types of payments: phones, computers, and credit cards.

Online payments are encouraged even when you’re meeting patients in the office. EZClaim customers can easily facilitate this with LinkPay. The process is easy and can be done once an appointment is made.

Here’s LinkPay in three simple steps:
1) Create a customized payment link with the required amount
2) Email or text the link to the patient before their visit
3) Patient pays the required amount, which is immediately confirmed and processed

COVID-19 demanded contactless payments for safety, but now patients now expect them for convenience. Medical practices will need online payments if they are to stay relevant in the future.

2. TELEHEALTH
Telehealth threw providers a lifeline when patients stopped coming into the office. The government acted quickly to relax Telehealth reimbursement policies so providers would be paid just as much for a Telehealth visit as they would for an in-office visit.

Congress is hoping to make these changes permanent. Whether they succeed or not, plan on keeping Telehealth as an option for your patients. Because Telehealth is not just useful during a pandemic, it’s great during normal life, too. Not all visits require an in-person encounter, and patients of all ages can benefit from the convenience of not having to physically leave their homes to get the medical care they need.

Patients have become used to having Telehealth as an option. Keeping it as an option going forward will set you apart from other practices.

3. AUTOMATION TOOLS
Chances are you are working with fewer people than normal. So, with fewer people to handle your billing and payments, your best option is to automate whatever you can.

This could mean setting up AutoPay for patients you see regularly, so they don’t have to manually pay their bill every time. It could also mean setting up a payment plan, in which a fixed amount will be paid automatically every month until the balance is paid off. It could also mean outsourcing your collections.

Automation doesn’t mean you lose control. Rather, it gives your staff more time to manage other essential operations. EZClaim customers have all of these automation options available to them through BillFlash.

4. CYBER PROTECTION
With digital tools becoming more prevalent, it is more important than ever to make sure your systems are protected. Hackers are out in full force right now, so it is imperative that you have proper malware and anti-virus software in place to protect your practice, your patients, and your employees. Do your homework on the tech companies you work with, too. Protecting your practice and your patients should be a top priority!

Of course, your staff will need to be up-to-date on HIPAA protocols, as well. Make sure you are doing everything you need to protect patient privacy online as well as offline.

5. FINANCIAL AID
Some practices are struggling financially and may need government aid to get them through the current crisis. Keep an eye on government funds that are available and stay informed on their different requirements.

If you haven’t already, consider applying for a line of credit. This is a standard operating procedure—even during normal times—and can help protect you from further financial disruptions in the future. No one knows how long this pandemic will last, so having a line of credit to fall back on during the coming months and years could be a game-changer for your practice.

6. A GOOD PATIENT EXPERIENCE
Above all, you need happy patients. That is true whether we are in a recession or not. Happy patients are more likely to pay their bills, more likely to return for future care, and more likely to recommend you to family and friends.

 

So, as you make some of the changes you made during the pandemic permanent, make sure you are still doing the little things to ensure a positive patient experience. These include:

• Keep wait times short
• Maintain eye contact during visits to assure patients that you care
• Be transparent about payment expectations and insurance, as well as what you’re doing to keep patients and staff safe
• Allow patients to pay using their preferred payment method
• Offer payment plans in lieu of paying large bills in one lump sum

A positive patient experience will be key in bringing your patients back to the office as the global health crisis continues.

NexTrust from BillFlash offers a variety of innovative billing and payments solutions for EZClaim customers. Visit billflash.com or e-mail them at Sales@BillFlash.com to learn more about how you can get paid more, get paid faster, and ensure you have the online tools you need to thrive during the pandemic.

For details and features about EZClaim’s medical billing software, or the other partners they have integrated into their billing solution, visit their website.

[ Written by Kathy Scott, Marketing Manager at BillFlash and NexTrust, Inc. ]