Healthcare leaders are always on the lookout for current trends. The most successful of them, though, go a step beyond. They look to the future, addressing and responding to those trends in ways that have an impact on not only their business but their community as well. Geisinger, a nationally known, physician-led, integrated delivery system servicing Pennsylvania and New Jersey, consistently exemplifies this kind of leadership. Their recent partnership with VisitPay—and their focus on improving the patient financial experience—proves just that. The partnership will help Geisinger offer patients a consolidated, personalized healthcare billing experience—even as the nation continues to face a pandemic-induced recession.
A Changing Industry
Geisinger’s dedication to improving the financial experience started with its leadership and a commitment to “make health easier.” They knew the industry was changing, specifically in regard to patient financial responsibility. They recognized that patient balances were becoming more common and larger, increasing the financial burden on patients. Patients needed better support, better systems, and a more contemporary and friendly experience to help them manage their bills. Patient expectations had changed, increasing demand for a contemporary digital approach with friendly and self-service payment options. There was also a financial implication. A decade ago, patients were responsible for a small element of health system revenue but today the patient constitutes 20-30% of a typical payer mix at a large integrated health system. Unpaid obligations create a significant impact on margins, directly impacting a health system’s ability to invest in its community—from new technologies and equipment to staffing and new infrastructure. Patient payments have become a driver of both health system loyalty and financial performance.
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, further heightening the financial burden on both health systems and patients. Some patients are now struggling to make payments, just as health systems contend with the financial consequences of fewer elective procedures. With an estimated $200 billion in losses across the healthcare industry between March and June of this year alone, health systems everywhere are looking for financial solutions.
Geisinger knew it was time to lead a path through the shift in patient payment dynamics. The current model was no longer sustainable. They made finding a solution their number one priority and looked for best-in-class partners to help.
The Right Partner
Geisinger outlined their goals. First, they wanted to deliver a consolidated patient experience across their multiple existing billing systems. Next, Geisinger wanted to maintain that consolidated patient experience as they transitioned to Epic billing in 2021, making the systems change seamless for the patient. Finally, they wanted to see a significant improvement in patient satisfaction and financial results.
Doug Diedrick, the executive leading VisitPay’s work with Geisinger, commented, “From the start, Geisinger kept their goals in sight and ensured that every decision tied back to how best to serve their community and financial results.”
After a robust analysis of different solutions, Geisinger decided that VisitPay was the partner to help them achieve their goals.
Why? VisitPay was a proven success at other enterprise health systems with complex billing environments and, statistically, has been shown to drive Net Promoter Scores to above 50 while improving patient payment rates by over 50%. Combining this with best in class technology and skills to help efficiently manage their assets, Geisinger had the confidence they’d be in good hands for the future.
The decision was a direct response to patient needs, too. The 2020 VisitPay Report shows that almost 60% of patients claim that the rising cost of healthcare influences their decision to seek treatment and more than 50% state that the financial experience influences their choice of healthcare system. Geisinger shares a belief with VisitPay that bill payment must not be a barrier to seeking care, and that the financial experience can improve patient loyalty and retention.
Looking to the Future
VisitPay is focused on providing financial solutions that make the healthcare billing experience simple and efficient for both patients and providers. By partnering with VisitPay, Geisinger will be able to equip internal revenue cycle teams with an integrated customer service portal to enable employees to manage patient obligations, customer requests, and internal workflow. Patients will also be able to receive consolidated billing statements across visits and family members.
VisitPay wants to help health systems support their patients beyond the clinical experience and into the financial one. It’s an idea that fits perfectly with Geisinger’s mission to make health easier for the communities they serve. With implementation already firmly in progress, Geisinger will soon be able to provide patients with a world-class financial experience alongside the best possible medical care.