Declining reimbursement, the increasing costs of operating a practice, time-consuming regulatory burdens, and hassles with getting paid by insurance companies and patients are putting enormous pressure on your practice's revenue cycle management. Collecting every dollar and driving your revenue growth is critical to success.
Any easy place to start is by maintaining a full and productive schedule.
Your practice needs to make it easy and intuitive for patients to understand the value of your services, to schedule appointments easily and efficiently, and to ensure that scheduled appointments are kept. The efficiencies in patient appointment scheduling create a full, productive schedule that benefits both your practice and your patients.
Offer the convenience of online self-scheduling.
Let’s face it. Few industries make it as difficult for their customers to make and keep an appointment as healthcare does, whether it’s repeatedly putting would-be patients on hold or routing them straight to voice mail. Or, once the patient actually connects with a live staffer, more back and forth ensues as everyone tries to find a workable date and time for an appointment. Patients hate this process. So do staff. It should have been changed long ago.
Online self-scheduling is a refreshing change patients and practices alike will love. Leveraging today’s technology, patients can schedule their own appointments online, via the patient portal of the provider’s EHR, at a date and time they choose. This in turn allows practices to capture patient contact info for sending automated appointment and follow-up reminders. An online scheduler also drives patients to a practice’s website, where they can learn about services offered, credentials and more about the value their providers offer.
Making sure the appointment happens.
Once patients have scheduled an appointment, getting them to keep the appointment is the next step. Appointment reminder automation is easy with the right technology. You can deliver phone, email and text message appointment reminders to make sure each and every patient is reminded of their scheduled visit. Automated messages use patient-specific elements and two-way interaction (confirm/cancel appointment) to maximize response rates from your patients. In fact, surveys indicate that patients actually prefer an automated appointment reminder to a live call from your staff. By using automated reminders you will:
- Decrease Reminder Expenses — eliminate postage expenses for mailed reminders and eliminate expense and inefficiency of staff members manually calling each patient to confirm appointments. Automated appointment confirmations are delivered more quickly and for a fraction of the cost.
- Have advanced notice of cancellations — Giving patients the option to cancel through an automated message prevents a potential hole in the schedule and allows you to fill that opening with another patient who needs to be seen.
- Reduce No-Shows — Appointment reminder notifications have been proven to lower no-show rates by up to 25% making sure you retain your planned appointment revenue!
By leveraging technology to keep your schedule full and productive, you will maintain your customer base, reduce operating costs, and increase your revenue.