How patient advocacy can improve revenue cycle management

Dec 1, 2015 | Health Insurance Billing

If your healthcare organization is looking to improve revenue cycle management, the missing ingredient could be patient advocacy. According to Lynn Giddens-Branscum, the revenue cycle director at Wise Health Systems, financial counseling and front-end customer service are often overlooked aspects of the revenue cycle that negatively impact care quality.

"Helping patients better understand the caveats within their policies so they'll have a realistic expectation of what their patient portions are going to be helps the revenue cycle," Giddens-Branscum said in an interview with RevCycleIntelligence.

Giddens-Branscum explained that 2016 will see Wise Health Systems focusing more on the development of a patient advocacy position. When patients are registered, they will have an advocate to help answer any future hospital service questions, statement inquiries or general care concerns. This advocacy program will put patients in contact with a registrar that is familiar with both the system's policy and the patient's needs.

In addition to increased transparency, Giddens-Branscum said that payers should frequently update their online services and providers, so patients can be informed when selecting a health care coverage plan that suits them.

According to Healthcare Finance, national and state-based payment model reforms are continually challenging healthcare providers to improve their delivery on patient experience. These reformed models are often designed to impact the value equation in terms of cost, quality or both. In all of these plans, following through on patient experience is at least implicitly, if not explicitly, required.

According to a 2015 American Society for Quality survey, 83 percent of patients want improved communications between patients and caregivers in order to improve patient experience. In the scope of revenue cycle management, Giddens-Branscum emphasizes that patient advocacy can bring more clarity to the process and greatly improve patient experience. For an assistance process that once overlooked patients with health insurance, new patient advocacy positions facilitate a relationship between all kinds of patients and their healthcare providers to create an environment that encourages informative communication. Insured patients then have a better understanding of their benefits.

To improve their revenue cycle and focus on quality of care, some providers choose to outsource receivables management. Contact Professional Medical Services today to learn more about our solutions for hospital finance efficiency and revenue cycle management.