4 ways to support your patients through the COVID-19 crisis
Health Systems + Hospitals, Physician + Specialty Practices / April 21, 2020

4 ways to support your patients through the COVID-19 crisis

Waystar is currently working to expand and introduce resources for those in healthcare dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. In this series we’ll explore what you can do to help support the three groups most vital to your organization: Patients, providers and your people.

COVID-19 has dramatically altered the healthcare landscape and the immediate impacts are staggering. Equipment shortages plague providers across the country as experts project a need for ventilators that could range from several hundred thousand to as many as a million. Meanwhile a huge percentage of providers and patients are transitioning to telehealth services. Here at Waystar, we’ve already seen a 40x growth in telehealth volume in the last month alone.

Patients face unprecedented challenges and uncertain situations

Patients are struggling with unprecedented economic conditions, including possible employment changes or job loss—transitions that immediately impact insurance coverage. Like providers, patients are also adjusting to telehealth and remote care.

Efficiently managing workflows is now more crucial than ever to the financial stability of your organization—and your patients. If you’re responsible for any part of the revenue cycle or healthcare administration facing the drastic impacts of the pandemic, here are a few ways you can ease the financial burden on your patients:

1. Employ coverage detection technology

Patients may be unable to provide insurance information during admission, while some newly uninsured patients may only be eligible for COBRA or other insurance following their discharge.A coverage detection solution can help identify missing or hidden insurance patients may not even know they have.

2. Automate presumptive charity screening

With the number of uninsured patients growing steadily, an automated charity screening solution connects the eligible with financial assistance instead of sending them to collections. Undertaken manually, this process places a heavy administrative burden on hospitals, and some patients can fall through the cracks. An automated solution reduces work for hospital teams and offers thorough, consistent patient assistance evaluation.

3. Adapt to telemedicine with eligibility + estimation tools

Ensure your patients are covered by private insurers and reduce unwanted out-of-pocket expenses for telehealth appointments. An eligibility tool provides access to benefit information from thousands of insurance companies and plans in seconds. It also saves staff time spent searching for benefits information and reduces rejections. An estimation tool provides real-time out-of-pocket estimates that help patients plan for costs and eliminates surprise bills for telehealth encounters.

4. Bolster electronic engagement

Deliver a safe and convenient patient financial experience with online payment tools and digital communications. Email and text statements and balance reminders to provide patients with early and digital access to their bills and set up an online payment portal. These steps let patients avoid paper mail and the risks, however minor, that go along with it.

The wrap up

With so many uncertain factors affecting insurance policies and financial responsibility, you need to make sure your team is equipped to effectively and efficiently help patients manage their bills. Deploying automated solutions can eliminate time spent on manual tasks while helping to secure vital coverage. And with rules and regulations around the virus continually in flux, you’ll want an automated solution to ensure claim accuracy.

Even before the crisis, the patient financial experience was undergoing a shift in the balance of responsibility and how it’s managed. As the healthcare industry struggles with the tempest of uncertainty created by COVID-19, it’s your responsibility to help your patients weather the storm.

Want to learn more? Visit the Waystar COVID-19 resource center.

 

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