The VisitPay Blog | Building Better Financial Relationships

5 Key Strategies to Better Your Patient Financial Experience

Recently providers met at the Colorado HFMA Fall Summit to discuss innovative strategies to thrive during a period of constant disruption. Kim Roelfson, Director of Revenue Management & Customer Service at Centura Health, and Michael Rawdan, System Director Revenue Cycle and Patient Experience at St. Luke’s Health System shared five key strategies their systems use to better their patient financial health and collect more patient payments.   

1. Collect Data Through your Online Platform

St. Luke’s has tracked their patient financial experience for over three years and collects 7,000 data points through a variety of methods. For their digital population, they leverage VisitPay’s in-app surveys to gather feedback on specific patient activities like setting up a payment plan or making a one-time payment. Additionally, VisitPay’s team analyzes the trends in St. Luke’s online support requests to identify and prioritize improvements in their digital experience. Michael credits these data-informed decisions with taking the guesswork out of their patient financial roadmap.

2. Give Larger Discounts

Kim acknowledged that, with rising patient obligations, patients are more likely to pay when they feel that their balance is payable. As a result, Centura increased their overall self-pay discount from 30% to 50%, lowering each uninsured patient’s responsibility. St. Luke’s employs a similar strategy by giving partial charity to uninsured guarantors. Both systems have seen an increase in their overall self-pay yield by making each patient’s obligation more manageable.

3. Incorporate Non-healthcare Expertise

St. Luke’s pulls best practices from other industries by partnering with a statement vendor outside of healthcare. Their vendor provides services for companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks and incorporates valuable non-traditional insights into their statement design. They are quick to develop and test new designs with the goal of giving patients relevant information in an easy to consume format.

4. Leverage Your Self-pay Vendors

Centura and St. Luke’s spend extensive effort in educating their self-pay vendors with contextual clues about their system’s region. Their vendors’ agents use these weather, geography, or facility-specific details to build familiarity with each patient and maintain brand consistency. St. Luke’s also uses VisitPay’s consumer scores to focus their vendors’ work efforts on the accounts that most need attention and keep in-house those accounts that do not. This active/passive strategy increases patient payments and saves the system substantially on foregone vendor contingency fees each year.

5. Inform Your Patients

Shouldering a larger burden of their health care expenses, patients are beginning to shop around prior to getting treatment. Centura helps with this by posting prices of their common procedure online which allows patients to view facility by facility their exact out-of-pocket expense ahead of a visit. In the event their procedure is not listed, Centura provides custom estimates upon request. 

If you would like to connect to learn more about VisitPay’s strategies to improve your patient financial experience and drive meaningful financial results, please connect with me through LinkedIn.

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Ryan Hanson

Ryan heads business development for VisitPay in the West, connecting health care providers to modern solutions to improve their patient financial experience. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Biola University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Boise State University. When Ryan is not in the office you can find him hiking to the top of a mountain.

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