Though it may seem that increased patient engagement and reduced healthcare costs are two different but crucial concerns for healthcare facilities, they are actually interrelated to each other.

This is mainly because increased patient engagement has been proved to reduce costs and improve quality of healthcare eventually benefitting the practice’s healthcare revenue cycle in the long- term. Well informed patients are more likely to follow the entire treatment plan and hence recover faster. However patients who are indifferent and not updated to the entire process will most likely not stick to their complete healthcare plan with a high possibility of the patient’s health weakening again. Eventually this will increase healthcare costs as the additional care administered may not be covered by the patient’s insurance, resulting in payment delays and higher costs to the practice.

Industry research depicts

Patients are interested in increased involvement about their health care; but inadequate attention has been given to acquire required skills to optimize patient engagement and shared decision making
Affordable Care Act and ensuing regulations encourage shared decision making and increased patient education, where patients and providers together make health care decisions customized to specific patient needs

As lack of patient involvement in decision making can lead to decreased patient compliance, higher costs, patient education has become an essential today. Medical professionals despite Health IT systems which help involve patients; need to put in much more effort to engage patients to help them understand the healthcare system better.

Industry experts may categorize patient engagement into these areas -

  • Front end staff communicating effecting with patients - getting the right information from them, informing them about duration of treatment, different treatment options, accurate scheduling of appointments, etc
  • Doctors educating patients with the right information- about treatment process, empowering the patient to feel confident enough while making health related decisions and enabling shared decision making
  • The practice set-up should be able to motivate - the patients to develop healthy habits and take more interest in their own treatment

Improving patient engagement at healthcare organizations-

  • Online portal for patients – where practices send relevant information to patients through newsletter and other updates by making material available online, which helps reduce readmissions
  • Participatory role in the healthcare process - check-in kiosks and self service options provide patients a more participatory role in the process by allowing them to view their billing statements and make payments more easily, in-turn freeing up staff for other tasks
  • Physicians’ speak directly with patients- doctors discuss options directly with patients regarding out-of-pocket costs of different treatment options, comparison of provider quality and safety, open and genuine shared decision making and patient feedback

Challenges doctors face with Patient Engagement include-

  • Patients do not feel the need to take active participation in shared decision making
  • Less resources including- lack of staff, training, industry updates, health information technology and systems which adequately track patients and keep them updated
  • Administration duties take predominance over patient engagement
  • Overworked physicians do not have the time or feel inclined to look into patient education largest consortium of billers and coders serving all 50 US states has been successfully helping clients with improving patient engagement and revenue management. Our clients easily concentrate on patient care and engagement as they rely on MBC for well informed decisions and appropriate tracking of business processes and revenue.

MBC equipped with latest technology helps clients with staff training and acquire latest updates in an economical way allowing them to invest additional time and resources elsewhere. Consequently able to improve patient involvement; reduce practice costs and maximize revenue.

Published By - Medical Billers and Coders
Published Date - Apr-24-2013 Back

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