By Andy McDonald, vice president of operations, Salucro.
Every profession has its own ‘bucket list’ — a collection of goals that people aim to achieve during their career. For revenue cycle leaders in healthcare, their bucket list items tend to center on strategic objectives designed to modernize the healthcare financial experience, enhance the patient experience, and streamline operations.
As vice president of operations at Salucro, a payment technology company exclusively focused in the healthcare space, I talk to clients, partners, and revenue cycle leaders every day and these are five of the most common priorities I hear:
- Upgrading and Consolidating Revenue Cycle Tools
With the complexity of modern health systems comes a continuous influx of new technologies designed to optimize revenue cycle management. But the key to truly reaping the benefits of these advancements lies not in simply adopting the latest tool on the market, but in integrating and streamlining these solutions into a single, efficient system.
Patients have also begun to recognize the digital shift in their financial experience, with 93% saying they expect healthcare providers to use more and more technology to collect payments, according to a recent report.
The integration and consolidation of tools can dramatically improve the productivity of your staff. When they are spending less time navigating multiple systems, rectifying errors, and piecing together data from different sources, they can focus more on enhancing the patient financial experience and other high-value tasks that cannot be automated.
- Improving the Patient Financial Experience
The patient experience encompasses all touchpoints of a patient’s journey, from the first call to schedule an appointment to the final payment transaction. Patients expect and deserve a seamless, intuitive, and personalized experience at each of these touchpoints – and with 50% of patients stating that their last billing encounter was bumpy, painful, or confusing, the quality experience that providers strive to offer doesn’t always carry throughout the full patient journey.
Leveraging technology can greatly enhance the patient experience. According to a 2023 survey of healthcare consumers throughout the U.S., 62% of patients pay their bills by credit or debit card via an online patient portal. These digital platforms not only cater to the modern patient’s preference for online interactions, but also help to improve revenue cycle efficiency.
Revenue cycle tools can automate patient communications, ensuring that patients receive timely billing notifications and follow-up messages. Survey data shows that patients are responding positively to these tools, as 51% of patients said a text message reminder would prompt them to pay their bill faster.