The way patients manage their financial obligations is constantly evolving. But it also varies from patient to patient. Offering more payment options makes you flexible. Offering the right payment options will enhance each patient’s experience with your brand, improve patient satisfaction, and boost your financial results.
In the healthcare financial experience, personalization requires that patients receive communications and payment options that fit their individual needs. Accomplishing that requires an understanding of the needs and preferences of each patient. Once you achieve that understanding, the messages, the channels and the choices you offer in your communications will speak to them. With that comes a greater likelihood that you’ll achieve the desired results—for you and for your patients.
Why does personalization work?
According to a study from the University of Texas, personalization is effective for two primary reasons: perceived control and easing information overload. You’re not just getting what everyone else is getting with personalization. Instead, you’re getting something tailored to you. Psychologically, that makes people feel more in control. Personalization can also help reduce our perception of information overload. Rather than receiving dozens of irrelevant options, consumers are presented with exactly the information they seek.
We can point to countless metrics that demonstrate how personalization works in other industries, which proves the model works as a strategy for engagement. But the important metrics are these—in healthcare, patients who receive personalized communications are:
25% more likely to pay
2X more likely to self-serve, and
On the average, cost to collect decreases by 10% by engaging patients in more the channels that are relevant to them with the payment options that fit them
By some definitions, personalization matches information and options to a specific person, with no effort on their behalf. Insight comes from demographic data, the current situation, historical perspective, and like behaviors. But there are also great techniques to understand what patients really want to tailor their experience accordingly. Survey tools that solicit direct feedback on what patients like, don’t like, expect, and don’t expect reveal the true voice of the patient, and should not be discounted in tailoring a more personalized process. Likewise, preference and progressive profiling techniques help us understand the channels patients prefer, ensure we’re diligent about collecting the information we need to leverage those channels, and help us understand where channel preferences vary—even situationally.
A very basic example is this. It is a common goal in many healthcare organizations to promote online enrollments for patients. However, most common communication platforms fall short of removing that messaging from communication once a patient has taken that action. Through personalization, we adjust and move to the next best action based on the patient’s current profile, the goals of the business, and the goals for that individual.
We want to deliver a patient financial journey that is not only satisfactory, but distinctive, efficient and effective. Providers can accomplish this by personalizing financial communications and payment options to better align to the needs of the patient—making financial connections in a more proactive and compassionate way.
Learn more about what personalization means in the patient financial journey, why it’s important, and how to turn it into a business advantage for your organization in our white paper Patients are People Too.