Pain Point Series: Patient Experience Supported by Customer Service

Pain Point Series: Patient Experience Supported by Customer Service

At in2itive, we have the privilege of talking to members of the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) community every day. We get to hear your successes and your struggles and we’re always listening to see how we might be able to help your facilities, your patients, and your bottom line. No doubt, there are a number of obstacles ASCs must face and overcome in order to be successful. So we’ve compiled your feedback and are introducing a “Pain Point” series to highlight some of these obstacles and, most importantly, outline some suggestions for overcoming them.

 The first topic in our Pain Point series is Customer Service. When ASCs come to us, they often share that their patient experience is suffering as a result of subpar billing office practices. This problem can present in a few different ways. Most commonly, patients are frustrated because payment/expense expectations were not set properly prior to their procedure or they are unable to quickly reach a knowledgeable staff member who can explain their charges and patient responsibility. Another frustrating situation for patients is when they have a bill show up a year after their procedure, when they thought the matter was already resolved.

All of these frustrations on the part of the patient are valid, and can be avoided by implementing better procedures in your billing office.

Payment/expense expectations were not set properly prior to their procedure.

It’s important to verify insurance and provide an estimate to the patient prior to the procedure. Explain to them the purpose and nature of the estimate and set an expectation for when they will likely see a bill, based on their insurance carrier payment trends. It’s also a good idea to explain to the patient they will likely be receiving bills from multiple providers for the procedure. Preparation is the key to success! We’ve provided an Insurance Verification Checklist below to help you train your staff to gather all of the necessary information for a good estimate.

Patients are unable to quickly reach a knowledgeable staff member.

We’ve found when patients receive a large bill in the mail, they want answers quickly! Ideally, you have enough trained office staff to answer all phone calls and take the time to explain which of their many bills came from your facility, and how their charges/balance came to be. If you are struggling to meet this demand, it’s best to set a reasonable expectation prior to the procedure, or better yet, partner with in2itive who can ensure each patient gets the world-class service they deserve.

A bill shows up a year after their procedure.

Many of us have experienced this personally, and there’s nothing more frustrating. Just when you have recovered, attended physical therapy, and paid what seems like hundreds of bills, yet another bill comes in the mail. We can help our patients avoid this frustration by filing claims and following up on unpaid claims timely. If a claim ages more than 90 days, it’s helpful to also reach out to the patient and clarify what is going on with their claim. Explain that you are working very closely with their insurance to resolve the matter as quickly as possible, and remind them of their estimated patient responsibility and when they will likely see that bill.

These are just a few of the grievances we’ve heard about from potential clients. in2itive has been providing billing services to ASCs for over a decade and we have numerous helpful tips for you and your center. Comment below and let us know what complaints you are hearing from patients, and we’ll help you troubleshoot solutions. If you’re considering outsourcing for the first time, or are not 100% satisfied with your current provider, give us a call! We’d love to review our solutions with you.

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