Healthcare providers are very interested in outsourcing more of their revenue cycle management functions, to help them offset shortages in staffing, make improvements in patient experience, and to create a more retail-like experience for their patients, according to the results of a survey conducted by CWH Advisors and sponsored by CareCredit.
More than 60% of participants in the study said they expect to make greater use of external parties for offering patient financing options in the wake of lingering disruptions following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly two-third of healthcare providers that participated in the study said they were experiencing staffing shortages in their revenue cycle departments.
One area of the patient experience that providers are looking to improve has to do with payments — only 42% said they were “satisfied” with their current payment solution, and were exploring options to remove friction and make the patient experience — from checking in to when they pay their bills — as seamless as possible. All of the organizations that participated in the survey indicated that patient payments were a “high” or “moderate” priority for their organization. Nearly 70% of respondents indicated that excellent customer service is in their top three priorities for selecting an external payment solution, and 60% of providers assessed overall patient financial literacy as poor despite investments in providing financial counseling and other educational resources.
“We designed this study to get providers’ point of view on their patient payment needs, to better understand how technology supports payments processes, and to learn more about how the procurement of those services occurs,” said David Stievater, Partner, CWH Advisors. “Overall, our research found that providers work hard to balance their financial goals of accelerating cash flow and reducing debt with offering excellent service and flexible payment options to patients.”