Solution Perspective: Efficient Patient Financing Enrollment

Patient financing programs are vital, and hospitals, health systems, and physician practices are striving to expand them. To be most effective, these programs must offer not only multiple payment options, but also a truly efficient and consumer-friendly process.

Enrollment is a central element in financing workflows. This Solution Perspective examines key challenges that arise in enrollment and details how CommerceHealthcare® provides customers with a highly streamlined approach.

Key Issues

Financing programs need flexibility to meet an array of patient needs. The landscape is growing increasingly complex as pandemic-created economic conditions are forcing many to lose insurance coverage or struggle to meet out-of-pocket obligations. In one recent survey, 41% of respondents reported job disruption, with 20% of those having lost health insurance.1

Addressing this complexity entails developing enrollment processes beyond their traditional time-consuming, labor-intensive, forms-based model, with heavy reliance on personal communication to engage patients. Optimal enrollment requires three essential characteristics: speed, consistency, and certainty. Without these, several significant challenges arise for patients and providers alike:

  • Confusion and anxiety. Cumbersome processes and sometimes inconsistently applied policies can leave patients uncertain and anxious about the outcome.
  • Potential care deferral. Consumers are wary about seeking onsite care during the pandemic. Absent rapid clarity on financing availability, many may avoid or delay care.
  • Revenue leakage. Procedure avoidance engenders lost revenue, a critical issue as healthcare organizations manage the current economic environment.
  • Added costs. Enrollment inefficiencies burden staff with manual processes and create significant direct and indirect cost penalties. 
  • Business continuity. As a result of the pandemic, revenue cycle management (RCM) departments have reduced staff or have staff working remotely, impacting efficiency.

The CommerceHealthcare® Solution

There is urgency to create a simplified, efficient enrollment process that scales financing program growth and accommodates remote workflows.

Health Services Financing (HSF®), from CommerceHealthcare®, enables providers to offer patients a no or low interest line of credit with enrollment that fully overcomes the concerns identified. HSF® enrollment blends automation and human touch to optimize onboarding and servicing:

  • Multi-modal interaction to maximize convenience. HSF® supports enrollment online, by phone, or in-person.
  • Cross-continuum opportunities. Enrollment can take place during pre-service estimates, point of care, or post-service during the billing process.
  • Simple, fast, frictionless process. The financing program features automatic approval with no credit check or costly paper-based workflow. A simple verbal or electronic commitment confirms enrollment. This creates a “no hassle” patient experience.
  • System integration and single-partner enrollment. Peak efficiency is further bolstered by integration with patient management and revenue cycle systems. Staff are also supported by a Commerce’s dedicated, in-house teams. There is no third-party involvement.

graph showing the 5 steps of patient enrollment

The Many Advantages of Seamless Enrollment

Optimized enrollment delivers strong benefits for all parties:

  • Clarity and peace of mind. Patients rapidly obtain clearly defined payment plans. With uncertainty lifted, they are free to focus on care, not financial decisions.
  • Maximum access. Enrollment ease helps providers deter revenue leakage from deferred care, attract new patients, and fulfill their missions to expand access.
  • Cost savings. Streamlined enrollment reduces labor and other costs while simultaneously boosting cash flow.
  • Patient satisfaction and engagement. Easy onboarding leads to better patient experience, crucial as organizations seek greater customer-centricity.
  • Support for remote staff work via efficient and contactless process.

Conclusion

Enrollment plays a critical role in the patient financing equation. The HSF® solutions delivers greater process efficiency, benefiting both patients and providers.

Resources

  1. J. LaPointe, “1 in 5 Adults Reporting Job, Coverage Disruption Now Uninsured,” RevCycle Intelligence, June 25, 2020.
  2. G. Drenik, “What America’s Latest Covid-19 Sentiment Says About The Future Of Digital Healthcare,” Forbes.co Trendsetter: Offering long-term payment plans to meet the financial needs of patients m, August 5, 2020.