The norm of consumerism has evolved into a lot of research for the consumer: researching different products/services, reading online reviews, and comparing prices. Because of that, it’s no surprise that the same process had started to become more common for healthcare. Many patients have most likely done research to find an in-network provider, and that’s more recently extended to include price shopping as well. Thanks to online resources from insurers, providers, and government agencies, patients can now look up the average cost of their medical care. Plus, due to the complexities of health insurance, patients have started to ask more questions, so they’ll also reach out to clinics to ask about the costs of their services.
As technology has become a larger part of the healthcare industry, more sites are popping up to help patients shop for medical care costs. However, they are not always accurate. Because of that, patients may instead call the office to see if they can get an estimate on the average cost of services. This is why clinics are starting to include “price shopping” in their staff procedures. If a patient calls to ask about average costs, it’s always important to note how the final cost can be complicated once insurance and deductibles are taken into account. However, being prepared will help the staff expertly handle these calls. Then the staff can help the patient understand the process, what typically is charged, and an estimate if they are doing a standard procedure or routine appointment. Having those average costs on hand can begin to build to a good relationship with the patient; plus, keeping that open communication will help if any issues in the billing does occur.
With cost becoming such as important part of healthcare, patients will then often narrow it down to two reasons: the cost of the service and the quality of service. If they find a clinic that has a little more expensive services, but they’ve been receptive to their questions, have convenient scheduling, and a location that makes sense, then they might choose that one because a trust has begun to build. Additionally, there’s always online reviews they can look up on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, etc. Front staff should be monitoring their clinic’s online presence so they can address concerns that patients may leave in a review. Potential patients will see that you address the concerns, and that will benefit the clinic’s overall online reputation. That’s become another important part of consumerism in healthcare.
Overall, due to COVID-19 causing economic concerns for many, patients will be searching for affordable and trustworthy services. To put your clinic above the rest, it’s important to think of how the patient will find you. As we’ve gone over, choosing a clinic has become much more complicated than simply looking for an in-network provider.
If your clinic is experiencing higher that normal aging receivables, now is a good time to contact the experts at Outsource Receivables Inc. to help you get back on track.