Making financial conversations less painful & more productive

April 6th, 2017

As insurance deductibles continue to rise, so does the impact on consumers, leaving more and more patients responsible for greater portions of their healthcare costs. This situation puts pressure not only on consumers, but also on hospitals, which now are struggling to collect those patients’ higher share of their bills.

As noted in a recent Crowe Horwath report, “Revenue Recognition and High-Deductible Plans: The Greater the Patient Portion, the Lower the Collections,” the percentage of collections on patients with account balances greater than $5,000 is four times lower than collections on low-deductible plan patients.

Caught in the middle are the revenue cycle and administrative hospital staff charged with making sure high-deductible insurance patients understand their responsibilities and working with them to get recompense.

It isn’t easy. Most will tell you that there are enough people who don’t understand their obligations at all (“How can I owe? I have insurance!”) and patients new to the process to keep them busy.

Thus, an already difficult assignment has become even more arduous, and a specific type of training is required to make the necessary sensitive financial conversations easier and more productive.

That’s why we’ve added Patient Financial Communications training from the Healthcare Financial Management Association to our eLearning arsenal. Designed to enable these front-line staff members to communicate clearly and thoughtfully for optimal results, coursework provides guidance on:

  • Knowing what to say – and how and when to say it – across care settings
  • Confidently engaging patients in the critical process of understanding their obligations
  • Exploring constructive solutions for resolving self-payment challenges
  • Maintaining high patient satisfaction rates while discussing difficult topics

As communications on financial matters increasingly become more important, it is essential that staff members be armed with the skills and knowledge they need to handle difficult questions and conversations while complying with regulatory mandates.

You can’t start too soon. Let us know if we can help.