Payments worries top 'pain points' of dissatisfied patients

As hospitals seek to improve the consumer's healthcare journey, the patient financial experience may be the best area of focus for boosting customer satisfaction and the bottom line, according to a national study from Experian Health.

The study, conducted in September, included a survey of 1,000 healthcare consumers and select providers.

It revealed the top "pain points" for patients in their healthcare experience are related to payment. Specific dissatisfaction issues included: comprehending the amount of money they owe for care and whether those out-of-pocket costs are fair market price, as well as ensuring they are financially able to pay for their care, Experian reported. Patients also identified "determining what financial support is available," "ensuring that what is owed to the provider is accurate" and "understanding the amount covered by their health insurance" as dissatisfaction issues.

While patients grapple with these financial challenges, the survey showed providers also face challenges related to the patient financial experience. Their top challenges included: "lack of holistic customer-centric plans," as well as "no clear metrics on how to measure the customer experience across touchpoints and over time," Experian reported.

Other challenges included: "handling expectations of health customers who don't understand healthcare charges or the value of the services," "not being equipped operationally to address customer engagement and loyalty" and "uncertainty about how to empower staff to use an approach that's relationship-driven instead of transactional." 

In light of its findings, Experian recommends that hospitals use comprehensive data and analytics for revenue cycle improvement and customer relationship management initiatives.


More articles on healthcare finance:

7 hospitals with strong finances
California hospital closes, lays off more than 100 employees
New Jersey freezes hospital charity care payments

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