In a recent report issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, it was found that the average American spends over $10,000 annually on healthcare. To build and maintain a successful healthcare organization, you must focus on patient retention. Many providers focus on attracting new patients and fail to pay adequate attention to their existing patient base. Acquiring a new patient is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. In addition, the probability of selling services to an existing patient is 60 to 70 percent, whereas the probability of attracting a new patient is below 20 percent. Fortunately, there are a few strategies to help your facility improve patient retention and in turn, increase revenue.
6 Strategies to Improve Patient Retention and Increase Revenue
Here are the key things that your healthcare establishment should implement to hold onto patients and increase your revenue:
1. Offer Superior Service
History has taught us never to underestimate a good bedside manner. A patient wants to stay informed, feel compassion from their caregivers, be treated with respect, and feel that there is satisfactory follow-up. All healthcare workers from the nurses and doctors through the billing department and office staff must provide optimum customer service.
2. Provide Personalization
Your patients do not want to feel like a nameless number. They want to feel like you know them and care. Asking questions and interacting is a wonderful way to personalize care. Whether its face-to-face or electronic correspondence, always include the patient’s name and display genuine concern.
3. Offer Modern Conveniences
Nowadays, patients want the convenience of telemedicine. They also require online records, electronic statements, bill pay, and appointment scheduling. You will want to make sure that patients can access the information they need easily and securely. This can be done by making sure your website is user-friendly with easy to understand navigation and ensuring that they are able to contact your facility and find the resources they need whenever they want.
4. Reaching Out Through Social Media
Set up a strong social media presence that truly grabs your patient’s attention. You can send out promos and other information via your chosen social media platforms. An online blog filled with helpful information is another way to keep your patients engaged and let them know that you care about them.
5. Create Easy, Transparent Billing
It is imperative that the billing method offered to patients be easy and transparent. There is nothing more frustrating for a patient than to experience confusion and stress when trying to decipher a medical bill. Prices must be concise and payment processes easy to understand. With the popularity of high deductible health plans, healthcare providers must meet and exceed billing expectations to achieve revenue A/R aging goals.
The playing field of healthcare is constantly changing with new rules and regulations coming into play. It is imperative that you focus on top-of-the-line customer service every step of the way so that your patients continue coming back.
6. Get Feedback to Monitor and Improve Interactions
Always try to follow up with the patient to receive feedback on their entire experience. Sending out patient surveys is a great way to evaluate how everything went. A patient is far more likely to leave true survey results electronically than voice them verbally.
But what to survey? A great place to start is patient access, as patients are essentially healthcare consumers and everyone knows consumers don’t like to wait. Gathering data on how accessible patients find your providers and services will allow you to identify gaps in your service delivery and develop solutions tailored to fill those gaps. Some of the access points to survey feedback on are:
- Average Wait Time
- No-Show Rate
- Call Statistics
- Point of Service Collections
- Additional Patient Feedback
These bullets offer opportunity for further drilling down but serve as a great starting point for you to gauge patient perception of your services.
Provide Great Service from Beginning to End
From the minute a would-be patient walks into the door, they should have all of their needs met in a timely and businesslike manner. This superior service must continue throughout their time of care and into the after-care billing process. Research has shown that patient satisfaction is reflected in bill payment. If a patient is happy with the care that they received, then they are far more likely to pay their bill in full or set up payment plans that they intend to keep.
In addition, they will share their positive experience with the community through friends and family. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Happy patients also leave online reviews as testimonials to the optimum care that they received and are likely to utilize your services again next time they need them.
Hospitals should put focus on the patient experience in order to increase patient retention and revenue. If you would like to learn more about how to improve your revenue cycle by improving patient experience, our team at RevCycle is here to help. Contact us today for more information.