A successful patient engagement strategy requires effective implementation of patient account resolution tools and services that address the entire patient obligation pool. While digital tools have advanced self-service patient payment resolution, there will continue to be a need for modernized call center services with compassionate human touches.
Running an efficient call center for patient payments is getting increasingly difficult. Labor shortages combined with multiple vendors to complete various stages of the patient payment process have led to lost revenue, workflow roadblocks and unsatisfactory patient experiences.
Currently, more than 9 in 10 revenue cycle leaders say they are experiencing a labor shortage in their RCM/billing department. Plus, health systems are facing major hurdles when it comes to cost-effectively managing call center staff and providing desirable levels of service.
Training and retaining staff, especially on disjointed systems, requires not only a large monetary investment, but also an investment of your time. The higher the staff turnover, the larger the cost to train new or inexperienced staff members and the greater the erosion of a positive patient financial experience.
Service levels also suffer, leading to low patient satisfaction. Working with a single vendor that combines patient-payment technology with call center services can alleviate these pain points—all while cutting costs, unifying the patient payment approach, and ultimately optimizing patient payments and NPS. Here’s how.
Many call centers today involve both in-house and outsourced vendors managing the patient financial journey, leading to a fragmented patient experience. Call center agents are often faced with data and system limitations and workforce challenges. Most concerning is that agents often lack the right tools to assess and guide compassionate payment options that make the most sense for the patient. These agents may even have conflicting financial incentives and motivations that distort outcomes for the health system and the patient.
With one unified patient payment partner, all agents and tools have the same available patient information early and upfront to help resolve issues faster, ultimately improving the patient experience. Plus, utilizing a partner helps reduce the technological burden of running an efficient call center.
It’s important now more than ever to meet patients early and with flexible options to collect. Cost-to-collect remains high as there are numerous steps and people involved in the collection process: from paper statement partners to staff handling over-the-phone collections, bad debt and early out partners; the list goes on. Partnering with a trusted, single vendor who provides a fixed payment model not only lowers overall cost, but it can also mitigate unanticipated rises in fees that ultimately diminish margins.
A single patient payment approach means a higher chance that the health system collects, higher satisfaction for the patient to pay the way they like, and a decrease in overall bad debt for the health system since more is collected.
A “one size fits all” approach to patient engagement only drives down satisfaction, retention and collections. Consider various patient demographics and the way they may prefer to communicate and pay. When the same complex issue arises, two different patients may need and want a different way to resolve the situation.
Entri™ Pay helps drive better outcomes as a single partner who can integrate both intuitive, self-service payment tools with compassionate and personalized call center services. We can help drive meaningful impact to your patient experience, financial outcomes, cost structure, and digital engagement strategy.
An integrated approach to the patient payment experience ensures patients understand and trust the consumer billing process, further cementing loyalty and increasing overall satisfaction.
Our call center managed services are comprised of 100% R1 employees, including both US and global teams that are highly interoperable, using the same technology, analytics and meeting cadences for a consistent operational approach. These managed services include pre-, middle- and post-service coverage.
We offer consistent training and QA processes for our call center services to continually drive quality service levels. Our agents utilize upgraded technology to deliver the best possible outcomes for the patient, including Interactive Voice Response, automated dialing technology, and integrated systems that provide the same information for agents and on self-service platforms.
Whether digitally interacting with your health system via easy-to-use technology or compassionate managed services, with Entri Pay your patients can expect the same optimal results, helping to boost patient retention and net-new cash.
To learn more about using a single partner to integrate digital payments and call center services to drive better outcomes, visit r1rcm.com/entri-pay.
Content written on behalf of R1 RCM.