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        Let’s be honest: navigating healthcare is a difficult and stressful experience for consumers. At a time when almost everything in our lives has gone digital – booking flights, making dinner reservations, getting a ride, ordering groceries, you name it – seeing a doctor has remained painfully analog. 

        Telehealth, online scheduling and payments, and patient portals provide digital experiences, but are still siloed and piecemeal. Today, a typical visit may still involve multiple phone calls (always at the least convenient time), redundant paperwork, back-and-forth faxes, and waiting in a germ-filled reception area… for those of us old enough to remember, it still feels like 1995. 

        Get Started with Virtual Intake.

        The dramatic gap between healthcare and other industries has become even more pronounced in the last few years. COVID-19 accelerated the already-speeding train of digital transformation. Patients who may not have expected a digital experience in the past now know how to order a car ride from their mobile device – and have realized the power and convenience of performing traditional tasks with a few taps on their phone. Expectations, as a result, have skyrocketed. Consider:

        The pandemic not only advanced patients’ expectations for digital experiences, its ramifications, have made it harder for providers to maintain even baseline-level service. In an environment where consumers want fast, virtual, streamlined, personalized care, many hospitals struggle to keep the front desk staffed.

        The financial side of the equation for patients is even worse. Consumers are increasingly responsible for their medical bills but face a tremendous number of obstacles to understanding their responsibility and making their payments. This is not for lack of trying. In fact:

        • 80% of consumers researched their healthcare costs prior to treatment, BUT
        • 48% of patients had only partial to no understanding of their financial responsibility for a medical bill, AND
        • 65% of patients are willing to make at least a partial payment if a pre-service estimate is provided

        These challenges directly impact providers’ revenue cycles, patient satisfaction and loyalty. When consumers can’t understand their bills, they don’t pay them, leading to significant delays in revenue collection. Further, patients unsatisfied with any aspect of their experience aren’t afraid to go elsewhere. Today’s consumers have choices. Patients are the new payers, and they vote with their legs and their wallets. 

        The solution: Digital patient access tools that provide a seamless virtual experience

        To provide the level of experience that today’s patients expect – and deserve – providers can no longer afford to be complacent. They must invest in digital solutions that empower their staff, delight their patients, and differentiate their service. 

        A great place to start: Virtual Intake. Virtual Intake gives patients the digital experience they expect by allowing them to navigate the registration process from their own personal device, from scheduling to payment to check-in. The patient’s intake data is integrated with the staff-facing solution to trigger events and eliminate redundancy for a seamless, patient-centered experience. Plus, for patients, there are no apps to download or passwords to remember – just a few taps on their phone, like ordering a meal.

        With a sophisticated digital check-in solution, patients can:

        • Locate providers and schedule their own appointments
        • Complete and upload forms before their appointments
        • Calculate the expected out-of-pocket costs of their care
        • Communicate with their organization via interactive text messaging
        • Attend appointments with minimal wait times
        • Navigate their facilities with only their smartphones
        • Minimize physical contact with their patient access staff
        • Pay their bills online or via text message
        • Keep family members informed and engaged with their care

        Some of these capabilities are particularly powerful. Digital scheduling, for instance, is one of patients’ most requested features; a full 81% of consumers prefer providers with digital scheduling. The ability to follow up after appointments are scheduled is critical too. With Virtual Intake, providers can automatically send appointment reminders and visit instructions, and initiate document completion and payments. Patients who engage with these reminders are more likely to fulfill their appointments, which decreases no-show rates. 

        Speaking of payments, digital check-in technology can play a vital role in providers’ revenue streams. Text-to-pay is remarkably successful. 80% of people who are given the option to pay via text use it, with 65% paying their bill on the first text notification. This dramatically increases up-front collections, positively impacting the entire revenue cycle. Virtual Intake can also help financially clear more patients earlier in the process for fewer denials and faster payments. And with the ability to easily create estimates on their mobile devices, patients can see and understand their financial responsibility, which makes them much more likely to pay. 

        Providers must embrace new technology to deliver the digital experiences that patients expect. Digital check-in solutions enable providers to bring in more revenue earlier in the patient lifecycle and give consumers the patient-centric tools they need to take control of their care. The result is greater satisfaction, increased loyalty, and returning patients. 

        Discover how patient access solutions from FinThrive can help your organization offer an exceptional digital experience with Virtual Intake. 

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