The "Know Me" approach: RevSpring's unique approach to improving patient engagement and payments

With the growth of high-deductible health plans, patients' financial responsibility for care has increased significantly.

As a result, hospitals and health systems must now collect more payments directly from patients — and many hospitals and health systems struggle to understand how much individuals are capable of paying. 

The "Know Me" approach is an effective way to predict each patient's behavior and propensity to pay. With these insights, organizations can develop customized patient engagement programs and create individualized outcomes that lead to faster payments and higher yield.

To learn more about this approach and how to put it to use, Becker's Healthcare recently spoke with two experts from RevSpring:

  • Kristen Jacobsen, vice president, omnichannel engagement and marketing
  • Michelle Perez, vice president, analytics

Demographic scores form the foundation of customized patient financial journeys 

Propensity to pay scoring can be based on demographic scores or credit-based scores. In healthcare, demographic scores tend to be more predictive. 

"Many patients live in the 'financial shadows.' They don't have a credit card, bank account or anything that would be picked up in a credit-based scoring model," Ms. Perez said. "With demographic data like income, number of people in a household or number of children, we are able to find and score patients more accurately." 

Demographic scoring is also preferred by many hospitals and health systems because no inquiries are sent to credit agencies, which could negatively affect a patient's credit score. 

RevSpring creates different payment workflows for different patients based on factors like propensity to pay and preferred communication channels. The goal is to drive individuals to the right outcome — whether that's paying in full or creating a payment plan that aligns with their unique financial needs. 

"What's really important is that our model is constantly updated," Ms. Perez said. "If we tried a certain path with a patient and they didn't pay, we will modify the workflow the next time we interact with that person."

The "Know Me" approach leverages individualized messaging, outreach strategies and channel selection

The first component in the "Know Me" approach is tailoring messages to drive engagement based on the patient's propensity to pay. 

"It's all about narrowing the options for patients and designing messages that align best with what they are able to handle," Ms. Jacobsen said. "I don't want to ask a patient to pay $2,000 if they don't have the means to pay that amount."

The best message is personalized, engaging and effective from a collection standpoint. It builds affinity because the organization is showing that it understands that patients are human.

The second element of "Know Me" is the outreach strategy. "Does the patient require some nudging or will that do no good because they don't have the means to pay their balance?" Ms. Jacobsen said. "Another consideration is the cadence of the messages. How many attempts should be made to remind patients about their balances?" 

The third and final component of "Know Me" is identifying the best communication channels for each individual. "RevSpring can adjust the channels used to communicate and the messaging within each touch point, whether it's a paper statement, IVR, text message or online portal," Ms. Perez said. 

An omnichannel communication approach is fairly new for healthcare revenue cycle teams. "If you use digital channels appropriately based on who will interact with them, it can really drive action and you'll see self-service rates accelerate," Ms. Jacobsen said. 

Smart deployment of technology translates into increased patient payments

Revenue cycle teams that implement RevSpring's intelligent technology typically see a lift in patient payments of between 3 and 7 percent. "We are precise about who we communicate with and how we communicate," Ms. Perez said. "This increases payments and yield without upsetting patients. It's a balancing act, but we've been successful with the technology and intelligence that we have to segment populations."

It's also essential to evaluate how different outreach strategies affect both yield and patient satisfaction. "You have to continuously measure patient satisfaction," Ms. Jacobsen said. "At the end of every payment, we provide patients with the option to provide feedback so we know exactly how they feel about the billing and payment experience. Our teams monitor that and it's as important as payment yield." 


By operationalizing patient insights, RevSpring drives a better patient experience and better overall payment results. The company's "Know Me" approach makes it convenient for patients to pay for care. It's also beneficial for providers since both call center volumes and administrative overhead decrease. The key to success is using data and technology in intelligent ways.

"The best scoring models in the world aren't effective if you don't put them into practice," Ms. Jacobsen said. "You must flow that information into an engagement engine like RevSpring to connect patients with the right message, using the right cadence and leveraging the right communication channels."

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