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90% of Patient Loyalty Connected to Financial Experience

Authored by: Paul Hancock, Senior Account Executive 

When considering patient experience, it’s easy to frame it in the context of practitioner interactions. But an area that doesn’t always get a lot of attention is the financial side of patient experience.  


Does the patient have an opportunity to verify their information before their appointment?  

Does the patient have an opportunity to correct outdated demographics and insurance details before the visit to avoid billing issues later?  

Do they know (and have an opportunity to pay) the co-pay before their appointment?  


A recent survey found that “90% of patients say that loyalty relies on the patient’s financial experience.” The survey also found that 41% of patients are dissatisfied with their medical billing experience.  


Amidst staffing shortages, it’s also worth noting that patient experience is tied closely to workforce engagement, potentially impacting staff satisfaction and retention. A few strategies can help improve patient experiences on the financial side of the business while simultaneously easing the burden on busy staff.  

5 ways to improve patient satisfaction and ease workloads   

With rising deductibles and high inflation, many patients worry about the cost of care. Greater transparency around how much is owed and simplified payment options create better experiences while saving staff time.  


Here are five areas to consider targeting:

  • 1. Sending paperwork before patients walk through your doors. When patient information, such as insurance details, is outdated, billing can be delayed due to claim rejections. You can prevent frustrating issues, streamline payments, and reduce wasted time by collecting paperwork before a patient’s visit. Receiving details before a visit allows staff to work out any potential issues before the appointment, or upon their arrival, to improve the patient experience.


  • 2. Know your patients and their billing preferences. Many patients, especially younger generations, don’t want to write checks. In some scenarios, they don’t even have checks. Understanding preferences around paying bills will improve patient experience and speed revenue cycles. Staff also save time by not having to reach out to patients to chase past due payments because a patient’s payment preferences weren’t initially applied.


  • 3. Provide an option to pay expenses up front. Allow patients to take care of co-payments and other charges before their appointments. Paying up front means they don’t need to wait for a bill or wait to pay it. Consider allowing patients to pay via text message or an online portal to speed processes and cut back on biller collection tasks.


  • 4. Measure the effectiveness of communication. Analytics tools can help you understand how your patients prefer to pay. For example, a pediatrics practice might have higher response rates to text payment options, but a cardiologist might have lower opt-ins for text-to-pay messages. Performance data helps you tailor communication based on patient preferences to improve patient experiences.


  • 5. Consider increasing biller compensation. Billing departments often struggle with staffing shortages, resulting in “non-billers” stepping in to help. However, this “help” can add problems due to experience gaps that lead to errors and increase the potential for rejected claims. 


During my career, I’ve seen practices collect only 20% of their money, and I’ve seen practices collect 80% (or more) of the money that they’re due for their services. Often the difference between them lies with their billers. When efficient, qualified billers are paid competitively, turnover is less likely. Additionally, more satisfied billers can directly impact patient experiences 

How to improve patient experience in the future  

It’s common for patients to check online reviews when deciding on a new practitioner. This trend will continue, but I can also see a future where Artificial Intelligence curates those reviews and has a bigger impact on practices.  


For example, AI could check the entire web for patient feedback and presents the “best doctors” based on the results of that feedback. This capability could put even more pressure on practices to improve patient experience 


By focusing on the financial side of the patient experience, you can create interactions that keep patients coming back and encourage referrals, helping you grow your practice 

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