Stop Ignoring Customer Service: 4 Reasons to Improve Customer Service for Revenue Cycle Optimization

Stop Ignoring Customer Service: 4 Reasons to Improve Customer Service for Revenue Cycle Optimization

Customer Service for Revenue Cycle Optimization

Revenue cycle optimization improves efficiency at every level of your organization. However, revenue cycle optimization often ignores a crucial aspect of your organization: customer service. 

Customer service isn’t just about greeting patients with a smile or having good follow-up care. By focusing on customer service, you can increase patient retention, improve clinical outcomes, and ultimately increase revenue. 

Customer service is overlooked in revenue cycle optimization – but it shouldn’t be. Today, we’re highlighting some of the best reasons to improve customer service for revenue cycle optimization.  

1) Many Revenue Cycle Problems Are Linked to Customer Service 

Poor customer service impacts your bottom line. In fact, many organizations treat revenue cycle problems back to bad customer service. 

As Revcycle explains, four of the costliest revenue cycle problems are directly related to customer service at the first point of contact: 

  • Denials 
  • Lack of correct insurance information 
  • Lack of patient understanding regarding coverage and payment options  
  • Missing, incorrect, or duplicate patient information  

All of these issues hurt your healthcare organization. Employees need to fix these issues. They need to spend time on these tasks instead of other tasks. Patients get frustrated, and insurers get dragged into the mix. 

Fortunately, good customer service can solve all of these problems: 

  • Good customer service starts with getting accurate information from the patient, reducing clerical errors. 
  • With good communication, patients receive payment information they can easily understand, including full disclosure about coverage, financial responsibility, and payment options. 
  • It’s not just about good communication. It’s about improving front-end processes and technology. Staff might have impeccable customer service skills, but they’re using technology that puts them behind.  

The end result is a better patient experience, less friction for the healthcare organization, and efficient billing. All of these issues impact your bottom line – and they’re crucial for revenue cycle optimization.  

2) Good Customer Service Helps You Compete in an Increasingly Competitive Industry 

Patients have more options for healthcare. Patients shoulder a bigger share of the healthcare burden than ever, which means they need to shop around to find care they can afford.  

More patients are turning to alternative providers. Amazon, CVS Health, and Optum are taking a growing share of the market. Walk-in clinics, ASCs, and telehealth providers are also rapidly rising. 

These services have a unique advantage over many healthcare organizations: strong customer service. 

Retailers carefully train staff in customer service – so why aren’t healthcare organizations taking the same approach? 

Patients go where they feel most comfortable. If you have bad customer service, then you could be pushing patients away.  

According to a PwC Health Research Institute report from 2021, patients are twice as likely to choose or reject a doctor because of staff friendliness and attitude. Even if you provide top-quality medical care and an excellent team of doctors, you could push patients away with poor customer service. 

3) Patients Trust Good Customer Service 

Bad customer service leads to distrust. Patients may not trust your organization if every experience is negative. 

Poor billing processes, bad communication, and bad front-end customer service can erode patient trust in your organization. 

When patient trust is eroded, it leads to negative outcomes across your organization. It can push patients away, lead them to seek care from competing providers, or turn them away from conventional healthcare in general. 

On the other hand, patients with a good customer service experience are more likely to gain trust in your organization. They believe in what your organization is saying. They recognize your value, and they believe you can help their needs.  

4) Bad Customer Service Leads to Bad Clinical Outcomes 

Customer service doesn’t just make patients feel better: it makes them physically better. It sounds weird, but it’s true. 

In this July 2020 study from The Beryl Institute, researchers found a correlation between patient experience and patient outcomes. Researchers observed this effect across a range of settings. 

Researchers found that patients who feel confident and positive about their healthcare experience are more likely to listen to doctor recommendations, check back for a follow-up appointment, and maintain clear communication. 

Conversely, patients with a bad customer service experience are less likely to follow recommendations. It makes them feel worse about the whole healthcare experience, which reflects negatively on your organization. 

In other words, customer service doesn’t just affect the mood of your patients: it can significantly improve or weaken their long-term health outcomes.  

Emphasize Patient Care to Improve Revenue Cycle Optimization 

It’s easy to overlook patient care when dealing with revenue cycle optimization. By focusing on the patient experience, healthcare organizations can optimize performance at every level of their organization.  

Contact HMI, LLC for a revenue cycle optimization consultation.  

Discover areas of improvement with your organization’s customer service and patient care. By identifying these areas and solving them, we can optimize revenue cycles and boost organizational efficiency.