Consumerism is top of mind in the healthcare industry, according to a national study from Experian Health that provides a clear view on how providers can better understand today’s consumer mindset and challenges consumers face during their healthcare experience. A white paper of the findings will be released at the 2018 HFMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
The study, conducted among 1,000 healthcare consumers and select providers, took a start-to-finish look at the biggest issues in a consumer’s healthcare journey. The paper, “Embracing consumerism: Driving customer engagement in the healthcare financial journey,” presents the findings, which show that improving a consumer’s financial experience is the biggest opportunity to increase overall customer satisfaction as well as optimize the revenue cycle.
Several financial touchpoints cause the most dissatisfaction overall among survey respondents. The hot-button issues for those surveyed include:
- Understanding how much is owed for services, net of health insurance coverage
- Knowing the out-of-pocket costs associated with each step of care (diagnosis, treatment, etc.) before healthcare is administered
- Understanding if the amount charged is a fair market price
- Determining what financial support and flexibility is available (e.g., a payment plan)
- Making sure they can ultimately pay for services
Top challenges for the providers surveyed:
- Lack of holistic customer-centric plans (one-off approaches don’t consider the end-to-end health customer journey)
- No clear metrics on how to measure the customer experience across touchpoints and over time
- Handling expectations of health customers who don’t understand healthcare charges or the value of the services
- Not being equipped operationally to address customer engagement and loyalty
- Uncertainty about how to empower staff to use an approach that’s relationship-driven instead of transactional