Empowering patients with digital increases patient loyalty: 3 key takeaways from leading industry voices at Intermountain Healthcare + Henry Ford Health System

Patients don't want to navigate different web pages and apps to manage their healthcare responsibilities — they expect a one-stop shop.

During a Jan. 27 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by VisitPay, leading industry voices shared how they improved patient satisfaction and revenue by empowering patients with the right tools, and how they're meeting patient expectations by providing a frictionless digital experience.  

The panelists were: 

  • Todd Craghead, vice president of revenue cycle at Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare 
  • Eric Neal, director of patient pay services at Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System
  • Mac Boyter, director at KLAS research 

Key takeaways from the discussion: 

1. Integrate the patient financial experience. Using VisitPay's digital technology, Intermountain Healthcare created a unified view of care in My Health+, the health system's digital front door platform, by offering billing and payment tools in the same place where patients can schedule appointments and view their health records. Since consolidating, about 50,000 patients are signing up to use the platform each week, Mr. Craghead said. 

Similarly at Henry Ford, integrating VisitPay with MyChart gave patients a simplified, improved experience. This resulted in a 57 percent increase in self-service patient payments compared to the previous MyChart experience just eight months after going live with VisitPay, Mr. Neal said. 

2. Digitizing the financial front establishes transparency, the panelists agreed. Incorporating explanation of benefits into the financial digital experience, for example, leaves patients with fewer questions. "Folks that are self-servicing through the digital tool have those data points in front of them and it's finally reduced some of our calls," Mr. Neal said. "It lends credibility to what the patient's looking at," Mr. Craghead added, noting that Intermountain has seen an uptick in the number of patients using their digital platform to make self-service payments after the company incorporated health savings account information and EOBs. 

Henry Ford implemented several features within the VisitPay platform to give patients more flexibility as well, including payment holidays, which allowed patients suffering economic hardship due to COVID-19 to skip a payment period. 

The goal is to give patients a sense of control and confidence over their financial experience, Mr. Boyter said. "Empowering the patient to have that flexibility and that control not only improves the overall perception of the health system or provider organization, but it also increases revenue," Mr. Boyter said of KLAS' industry research. 

3. A positive financial experience leads to long-term patient loyalty. If you can create a great digital experience, then patient satisfaction and increased revenue will follow, the panelists agreed. This is especially important as health systems continue to work though the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  "We want to make certain that the billing and financial experience [patients] have is top notch," Mr. Craghead said. "Margins are a lot thinner, and so keeping [patients] inside of our network and working with us is important."

"The feedback we've received from providers has categorically been [about] the essential need to reduce those friction points, those paying points, and make it as seamless as possible," Mr. Boyter said. By integrating billing and payment tools into digital platforms, healthcare organizations can ensure patients have control over their own financial well-being, which is a great way to maintain loyalty, Mr. Boyter added. 

To watch the full VisitPay webinar, click here. 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars