Carrie Moneymaker shares 5 strategies to raise patient satisfaction scores, boost revenue

The revenue cycle process can make or break patient satisfaction, which is strongly linked to profits, Zotec Partners Vice President of Solutions Design Carrie Moneymaker said at Becker's Hospital Review 7th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable, Nov. 13 in Chicago.

Ms. Moneymaker shared five strategies for improving patient satisfaction scores and consequently boosting profits:

1. Establish and implement a standardized process across practices. Practices' clinical processes have a cadence, and their financial processes should, too, Ms. Moneymaker said.
Setting different protocols across locations causes confusion.

"It's sending a mixed message across your organization as well as across your patient population," she noted. "Communication and responsiveness — that's key."

2. Get staff on the same page. Work with staff members to change the mindset toward revenue cycle management. Staff members should understand payment is expected from all patients, a goal that requires more than hanging up a plaque in the office or having patients sign forms acknowledging their billing responsibility, Ms. Moneymaker said. Give front desk workers automated tools that adapt to patient preferences via machine learning and walk staff members through standardized steps in the payment process.

3. Set and manage expectations for patients early on. The patient revenue cycle experience starts at the very front end and continues well after they walk out the door of your practice. It may seem taboo and intimidating to discuss money with patients, but healthcare is a business, Ms. Moneymaker said.

"You don't go into your food market and buy your groceries and go out with your buggy without paying," she noted. "Why would we set that expectation in healthcare that you're providing this service and there's no expectation for payment?"

4. Keep patients informed. Once expectations are set, practices can establish measurable campaigns to regularly engage patients. Call patients to let them know what they will owe during their next visit and ask them how they'll pay for it — not when. Continuously provide updates, send notifications and monitor any insurance changes via an app or online portal. Most patients prefer self-managing their accounts online over speaking to customer service representatives, so give them that option.

5. Query patients. Ask patients how you can make them feel better about their experience, and take action based on the feedback. If you're not already surveying patients, start with small, informal questionnaires.

More articles on patient engagement:
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Engaging patients through personalized communication

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