A hospital in Alabama should serve as an example to every type of collection operation, be it a third-party agency, creditor, or otherwise, that transitioning away from letters and phone calls and promoting digital engagement with patients and debtors is the best way to thrive in today’s economy.
Jackson Hospital is a $1.2 billion facility in rural Alabama that was “years behind” in adopting revenue cycle processes and technology, according to a published report. The hospital lacked such important tools as patient-friendly statements and did not attempt to engage with patients on digital platforms such as email and text-messaging.
But despite its demographics, the hospital rolled out a solution that aimed to offer “efficient, high-touch, low-impact patient service and collections processes,” said David Ralston, the vice president of revenue cycle at the hospital. That included providing multiple methods of patient payment and payment options, using text messaging and email to engage with patients digitally, and bolstering its use of analytics to help identify additional sources of payment.
Along with lowering its cost to collect, the hospital has seen its net-cashback increase to 33.5% during the past 13 months for patients with a balance after insurance, and that figure continues to trend upward every month, according to the report. Overall patient collections are up by more than 40% since the facility started its new digital engagement campaign, Ralston said in the report.
“Our financial performance has gotten stronger,” he said. “We are beating our performance metrics, and our patients are more satisfied with the services before, during and after their care is received. Embrace the change. Your patients and community are ready for it.”