Billing and payment system reformation: Applying lean principles and new technologies to improve patient experience
As patients gain power as healthcare consumers, more and more industry leaders are turning their attention to healthcare billing and how the application of lean principles and new technologies can drive a significant shift in the patient experience. From my perspective, here are some of the key questions healthcare organizations should be considering:
Q: Why is reforming the billing and payment system necessary to the future of healthcare?
The current payment system is complex, confusing and wasteful. Patients receive enough bill-related mail to fill a shoebox! They receive explanations of benefits (EOBs), statements from specialists they don’t remember meeting, but no easy way to get their questions answered. In short, the approach is broken.
We need to rethink healthcare billing from the ground up if we’re serious about doing the very best for consumers. Providers often don’t realize or remember how important the payment and claims process is in shaping patient opinion, and how damaging it can be to their reputations if it’s mismanaged. Studies show patient satisfaction with their provider decreases 10 percent from the time of discharge to after receipt of the bill. Health leaders must ask themselves, “How can we turn that around?”