(EHR), which eliminates inefficiencies and helps to reduce demographic and insurance capture errors, a common cause for claim rejection or denial. A positive or negative experience related to the cost of care received and subsequent medical billing has an impact on the patient’s percep- tion of care received because the bill- ing process is often the first and the last interaction the patient has with an ASC. According to research from FierceHealthcare, patient satisfaction ratings fall by an average of more than 30 percent from post-discharge through the billing process. If patients encounter significant issues with post-care billing, the satisfaction rating could fall even further, therefore, great attention needs to be paid to when and how you are col- lecting patient responsibility. Being thorough in your collection process at time of service will allow patients to focus solely on their recov- ery after care without facing contin- ued financial burden. In addition, if you explain all of your patients’ financial responsibility up front and provide an accurate quote to your patients at time of service and they make an educated decision to move forward with services, that is often a strong indicator that they understand their role and are comfort- able with their financial responsibility. The next step is taking practical action

to make payments easy for patients to make and providing clear information about how to do so. Payment options and benefits might include: ■■

It is one thing to market that you are a less expensive option for patients, it is another to show that patients can receive higher quality care in your lower-cost setting.”

—Kylie Kaczor, RN, CASC, and Michael Winkleman

matic Clearinghouse (ACH) pay- ments to offer more flexibility to patients; and

allowing medical loans through orga- nizations like Care Credit as an addi- tional payment option so patients don’t face financial hardship, which could lead to adjusting off a portion or the entire patient balance. The final and most often overlooked part of the process is staff training. Implementing an internal process that allows the best use of technology and provides for the education of patients about the payment options available to them requires a well-trained staff.


recurring payment plans with limi- tations on the length of these plans and minimum required payments that are separated into manageable and controlled amounts allowed for large patient balances;


adding a required promissory note that the patient must sign to increase the patient’s perception of account- ability and the consequences of not complying with the plan;


allowing patients to pay using all forms of major credit cards or Auto-

Marketing Patient Outcomes It is no secret that healthcare is shifting away from the traditional fee-for-service model and focusing more on the qual- ity of care provided. Value-based care models are on the rise and are expected to continue with many federal initiatives underway that are aimed at improving patient outcomes. Outcomes tracking has historically been limited to bench- marking items like number of postop- erative infections or number of hospi- tal transfers. Newer value-based models, including the Merit-Based


Payment System (MIPS), Alternative Payment Models (APM) and Blue Dis- tinction Centers, focus heavily on the quality of care provided and patient out- comes after care.

The most advanced patient out- comes tracking systems available engage the patient every step of the way,

providing real-time updates

of current status and, most often, offering comparative scoring of the patient’s self-evaluation before and after intervention. These systems are typically integrated with facility software and are easily accessible for both the patient and the provider. The information gathered is most typically based on scientific research to ensure the quality of the data col- lected. As a result of this industry shift, there is a great opportunity to implement technologies that help you accurately track patient outcomes and report this data in the form of mar- keting to payers, referring physicians and the public.


Outcomes data could be used to mar- ket your services to commercial pay- ers. When negotiating contracts, you may be able to present your outcomes data to secure appropriate rates from your in-network payers. This informa- tion can be presented in the form of visual graphs, sales sheets, PowerPoint slides or images that can be shown to the payer during negotiations.

Referring Physicians Many ASCs rely on referrals from physicians and other partner facilities. Therefore, it is important that patients receive accurate information about your facility and referring physicians and partners are kept abreast of both outcomes data and positive patient experience testimonials. A referring physician can influence

the beginning of your patient’s experi- ence, so the better educated the refer- ring physician is about your facility and its outcomes, capabilities and successes, the more positively your patient will view your ASC from the start. Market- ing efforts to retain referring physicians should be part of your internal process.


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