Healthcare providers and revenue cycle management companies should be trying to emulate how Disney World treats its guests if they are to more effectively manage the new financial dynamic, according to a published report.
Disney just wants its guests to have a good time and does everything it can to try and accomplish that, and medical practitioners should be doing the same thing, said the CFO of a healthcare practice.
“If we can remove the pain points and strive to ease that front piece, the patient will be focused on a friendly conversation when they walk in the door with the person that can answer questions,” said Andrew Kouba, chief financial officer of Abilene Diagnostic Clinic, PLLC. “They’re not being pestered to pull out their wallet.”
The report details how Kouba and his practice have analyzed every component of the patient experience and re-tooled its operation to try and make that component as painless as possible for the patient.
On the collection and payment side of the transaction, Kouba wants to see more automation so that patients don’t have to pull out their wallets every time they visit the doctor’s office. Simple details, like storing debit and credit card numbers, can go a long way toward improving the patient experience, he said.
“What I would love to see is as a patient of Abilene Diagnostic is getting cued at the beginning of the year to update insurance information and then it’s saved on file. Then, hopefully they’ll give the payment information as well,” he said. “So, you can capture both the payment and the data, as well as annually collect their insurance information so it’s in there and you already have that piece verified.”
The practice is also looking to better educate patients about what is covered by their insurance and what isn’t, so the patient can be more engaged and less surprised about how much procedures and appointments cost.
“If patients understand the front-end process and what their benefits and insurance cover, then there shouldn’t be a backend question because you covered that at the front,” he added.