We hear and read a lot about the “Amazon experience” in healthcare – from building revenue cycle programs that engage patients in a consumer-like experience to automating patient-facing processes that drive revenue from pre-to-post service.
The Amazon experience is more than just tech stacks and digital-first initiatives, it’s about determining how your organization will create a patient financial experience your patients will choose to return to, again and again.
A static plan or “wait and see” approach isn’t enough any longer. The revolution brought on by the arrival of online, consumer-focused, self-services has shattered many business models, and continues to do so.
Shift the Focus to the Patient (ahem, Consumer)
This should come as no surprise, patients have made clear their dissatisfaction with provider’s complex payment and digital systems:
- 92% say improving customer experience should be a top strategic priority for medical providers.
- 90% no longer feel obligated to stay with providers that don’t deliver an overall satisfactory digital experience.
- 88% under age 40 state they will choose their next medical provider based on a strong online presence.
To connect with patients, providers are facing a critical challenge to remodel their payments systems. The journal, RevCycle Intelligence, highlighted the necessity for providers to move quickly by stating that the manual processes most organizations continue to employ can no longer keep up with increasing complexity of healthcare and patient demand for current technology.
Below we dive into how you can work within your organization to affect change and start the project plan for a revenue cycle platform – like Simplee – to meet consumer needs and build a patient financial experience that delivers serious results.
Considerations for Developing a Strategic Plan
Making operational changes to accommodate the patient need is often not easy. When developing a clear strategy, address these key issues:
1. Know you Operational Pains – Companies should focus on making hard decisions about facilitating changes to serve consumer demands.
A report from PWC puts it like this: “When you reorient your company’s operating model around customer needs, your operations team can define the assets and capabilities (policies, processes, technology, data, ways of working) to then make timely decisions and appropriate trade-offs required when change inevitably arrives.”
2. Meet the Consumer Demand – Understanding customer needs is the fundamental requirement for building a successful program. Providers must recognize that patients, facing rising healthcare bills and deductibles as well as complex payment systems, are feeling increasing pressures. Access and affordability to healthcare continues to be the number one issue Americans worry most about.
“The industry thus faces a stark choice: improve retail payment capabilities to help consumers manage their health care financing better, or risk having rising health care costs overwhelm consumers’ willingness and ability to pay,” the consulting company McKinsey says.
3. The Time is Now – The need for quick, meaningful changes that create big results is essential. From PWC: “Decisions that used to require months of analysis must now be made in a matter of weeks. It’s critical to update your operations model.”
How to Overcome Objections
One of the greatest hurdles in developing new strategic operations plans is gaining internal buy-in. A Simplee customer, Kettering Health Network, helped make their Simplee choice move into swift action by:
- Focus on Timing: Plan the right time to approach teams, pick the right place, and gather the right resources.
- Explain the Need: For Kettering, their EHR investment was significant yet there was a solid reason why it needed expansion from Simplee. Outline the business case with facts, best practices, and current internal data.
- Be Prepared to Address Biases: People like what they have and change can be difficult regardless of how awesome the potential outcome may be. Remember that some stakeholders may need help understanding how it can better impact their day-to-day.
“Our biggest challenge was making the business case to stray away from the system that we kind of consider the king.” – JoAnn Yohn, Kettering Health Network