Can Tech-Enabled Virtual Intake Management Improve the Patient Experience?

For too long, the healthcare industry has lagged behind other sectors in offering the consumer a better experience through advanced technology. As we settle into post-COVID-19 healthcare, several operational changes have occurred that streamline the standard care delivery model and improve the patient experience.

First, telehealth, which has been resisted by providers and patients for years as being too impersonal and lacking a reimbursable structure, and second, using advanced automation to manage the patient onboarding process efficiently.

In our new normal of touch-free encounters, patients and providers alike have quickly embraced the convenience and efficiency of telehealth visits, while reimbursement equalized, making it a feasible alternative. In terms of automating the patient onboarding process, consumers of all ages are tech-savvy and expect convenience and easy access in their dealings with any business, even in healthcare.

Where Can Tech-Enabled Automation Make a Difference?

As you look for ways to bring convenience to patients, consider the initial patient access process as a place where advanced automation can facilitate a patient’s assimilation, and provide ongoing verification. The easier a patient’s check-in and scheduling process is perceived to be, the more loyal they are to the provider or system.

Virtual intake management functionality comes in a variety of forms. Here are a few that would greatly improve the patient’s initial preparation and works in tandem with most EHR/EMR systems:

Insurance Verification and Benefits Eligibility

When patients initially engage the practice to select an appointment, automated insurance verification, and benefits eligibility is crucial in securing reimbursement after each encounter. With an integrated, electronic solution, these pieces of information can be determined in near real-time with just the insurer name, patient’s name, DOB, and individual insured’s number:

  • Insurance Eligibility Dates
  • In-Network vs. Out-of-Network
  • Co-pays
  • Remaining Deductibles
  • Annual Maximums
  • Lifetime Maximums

Patient Portion Due

Based on the information available, the portion due to the patient is better collected before the visit occurs. According to the 7th Annual Trends in Healthcare Payments Report by InstaMed, 92% of patients want to know their portion prior to initiating treatment.

With a large number of patients struggling to pay their medical debt, it’s become more important than ever to provide accurate and detailed information and a convenient way to pay through a patient portal or website payment system.

Prior Authorizations

As prior authorizations (PAs) continue to expand, finding a way to submit and track them efficiently is critical to operational excellence. With more than 87% of healthcare providers using a manual PA system, patients find their care held up and appointments rescheduled due to a lengthy process.

By using an automated solution, PAs can be processed in real-time with follow-up done automatically, saving patients the frustration of having appointments rescheduled or postponed indefinitely. At the same time, the insurer sorts through their issues. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, Infinx’s Prior Authorization Software determines the need, gathers information, and submits PAs in real-time, with certified technicians available to handle any emergent or complex requests.

A tech-enabled service solution used for intake management support allows patients to onboard easily and facilitates a smooth revenue cycle post-visit. Today, as healthcare providers negotiate the new touch-free encounter environment, there are sophisticated but easily accessible improvements that can improve the patient’s entire experience and improve the overall bottom line.

Contact us to learn more about our advanced automation options for strengthening the patient experience.

About the Author

Infinx Healthcare provides innovative and scalable payment lifecycle solutions for healthcare practices. Combining an intelligent, cloud-based platform driven by AI with our trained and certified coding and billing specialists, we help clients realize revenue, enabling them to shift focus from administrative details to billable patient care.

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