As high-deductible health care plans grow in popularity and the high deductibles get even higher, healthcare costs are quickly shifting to patients. Moreover, in 2018, for the first time in a decade, the number of Americans without health insurance increased. This shift to patient responsibility has changed the framework of how healthcare providers interact with their communities — it can go awry (think UVA) or it can be a positive opportunity.
A part of this shift is that healthcare providers are waking up to the fact that they are lending institutions. To be sure, patient collections and lending can be complicated. However, when providers leverage their patient payments data to drive their collections strategies, they create new and powerful opportunities to increase the revenue they collect, building patient relationships and using payments data to inform business operations.
Here are four new and intelligent ways that healthcare providers are using their patient payments data to be more strategic and to drive better payment outcomes:
1. Segmenting patients by risk and viewing their patient payments as a portfolio.
Healthcare providers need a framework to look at patient payments in the same way banks and lending institutions look at their customers. A portfolio view of payments allows healthcare providers to develop strategies and better evaluate how they manage their patient segments. A portfolio mindset drives big-picture thinking and helps CFO’s and Revenue Leaders better allocate their resources.
2. Identifying the most effective collection strategies for each patient segment (or better yet, each individual patient).
In no other industry is payment plan provisioning approached with a one-size-fits-all mentality. Patient payments data can be used to pinpoint which patients will pay their bills in full, which patients will pay some of their bill if offered assistance, which patients will never pay, how much each patient will pay and when each patient pay. Using data science to assess the financial needs of individual patients (while staying within the legal bounds of ECOA) and proactively offer discounts and payment plans allows healthcare providers to maximize the amount collected per patient.
3. Identifying the most effective contact cadence for each patient segment.
Ever notice how the marketing emails you receive or the display ads your shown happen at specific times, on particular platforms and have customized content? Consumer data is used far and wide to tailor your experience — to drive towards a specific action. This mentality can be applied to patient collections. Payments data can identify the best timing and method for contacting patients about payments. This information allows healthcare providers to develop a strategic approach to calls, emails and text messages about payments.
4. Tracking patient payments by geographic regions, facilities and procedures.
Patient payments data is rich with insights about utilization, geographic impact, procedures and more. Forward-thinking healthcare providers are using this data to build patient population profiles to develop strategies that drive them towards value-based care.
Patient payments will continue to be a growing focus for healthcare providers. Utilizing payment data is an expedient and effective way to drive better strategies and intelligent approaches around patient payment management. Most providers are looking at the tip of the iceberg in terms of their payment data. There’s immense value beneath the surface — this where Sift Healthcare changes the game. We help providers access and operationalize the critical insights buried within their payments data. Contact us to learn more or to set up a free data consultation.