Healthcare providers continue to move away from outdated processes and tools in favor of technology that can meet the demands of a new health economy. In particular, they seek patient-facing tools to deliver value and cut costs.
One such tool can be found in patient check-in kiosks, an innovative system that allows patients to better manage their financial experience, while at the same time cutting costs for provider groups.
3 Cutting Edge Cost Benefits of Patient Check In Kiosks
1. Improve the patient financial experience
By now, most are aware that patients expect far more from their healthcare experience than in years past. With changes to health insurance plans, most costing patients higher out-of-pocket expenses, they want to be kept in the loop on their care and what it will cost. These expectations form the new healthcare consumer-- patients that seek convenience, transparency, and confidence in their entire healthcare experience.
Patient check in kiosks improve the patient financial experience from beginning to end. From first check-in to final balance settlement, patients are provided with clear estimates of what they will owe and convenient methods to make payments. These self-service kiosks empower patients to take charge of their financial responsibilities. Not only does this increase patient net collection rates, it boosts patient satisfaction to build patient loyalty.
2. Reduce the cost to collect
With revenue cycle technology that automates the payment process, the cost to collect is drastically reduced. These systems make it possible to do away with costly collection efforts, such as sending out multiple statements, making repetitive phone calls, or worst of all, relying on a collections agency.
Self-service patient payment technology encourages patients to manage their own financial responsibilities and provides the tools to do so in a convenient way. When patients are given cost estimations upfront, they can better budget for their visit, and will be more likely to pay.
3. Differentiate from competitors
Another value proposition of patient check in kiosks that is often overlooked is how this technology helps your health system differentiate from competitors. Think about these two scenarios as an example.
John Smith visits ABC Provider Group where he is treated for a routine physical. He pays is copay upfront, but that is all. He is then billed 3 weeks later for the remaining balance, which he is shocked to find out is more than double what he was expecting. He delays payment, calls his insurance company, and maybe even calls ABC Group to complain about their lack of transparency and assistance in the matter. It is safe to say that Mr. Smith is unhappy about his experience with ABC Group and will likely not be a returning patient.
John Smith, still wary about his last experience at the doctor, visits XYZ Provider Group. Upon arrival he is introduced to their newest self-service technology that will help him check in for his appointment, update and check his insurance eligibility, and ultimately set up a convenient method of payment. Mr. Smith is pleasantly surprised at the level of transparency he receives and is able to better budget for the visit. About a week later, Mr. Smith receives an email from the patient check in system with his final balance owed and a notification that his preferred payment method will be charged in the next few days. He has no complaints whatsoever. Mr. Smith was able to budget appropriately for the visit and is happy the billing will be taken care of for him. He refers all of his colleagues and friends and family to XYZ Provider Group and remains a loyal patient.
These two scenarios are all too common. Many patients will choose to leave a provider if they are unsatisfied with how they handled the financial side of their visit. For providers who are trying to compete in a market that becomes more competitive every year, putting patient expectations first and foremost must be a priority.
There is no doubt that it is harder to compete in today’s healthcare economy. Patients have several options for care, and are more likely to shop around for services that fit their budget and health needs. To cut costs, retain patients, and compete with other healthcare providers, patient-facing technology is the answer. Technology, like patient check in kiosk systems, will streamline the front and back end of the financial experience by putting more control in the patient’s hands.
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