Healthcare is highly complex and difficult for patients to navigate, especially with regard to insurance coverage and their financial responsibility. Since both are foundational to the patient access process, providers must educate patients about both early on. Providing patient responsibility estimations allows providers to educate patients about their insurance co-pays, deductibles, and financial responsibility in advance of their service. Having this information helps alleviate patient stress and gives them the information they need to make more informed decisions about their care.
Providers should also consider helping patients who may be eligible for financial assistance or charity to find and apply for those resources. This enables providers to position themselves as advocates for the patient. It is vital that staff communicating with patients about their financial responsibility be trained in soft skills such as active listening and compassion as this can help reduce stress while creating a positive patient financial experience. In one survey 61% of respondents said the patient financial experience is a determining factor in choosing whether to continue with a provider.5
48% of participants said they prefer to be reached digitally instead of over the phone.
Providers should also consider offering multiple communication options and allow patients to choose the methods they prefer, such as phone, text, email, or snail mail. In a recent healthcare consumerism survey, 48% of participants said they prefer to be reached digitally instead of over the phone: 22% preferred email, 14% preferred text, and 12% preferred communications over a patient portal.6