The patient financial experience has come to the forefront of providers, payers, and now the HIMSS Revenue Cycle Improvement Task Force.
The shift is toward consumerism in which patients have price transparency and cost estimates, get a consolidated bill and can make real-time payments, according to Valerie Rodgers, who has served on the task force for a little over two years.
"There are evolving expectations about how they should be paying for their care," Rodgers said. "We need to link the financial piece and the clinical piece."
As a healthcare product manager for Bank of New York Mellon, Rodgers brings a banking perspective in which she understands the need for different payment methods.
Health systems need to know what it's going to cost to make the financial picture easier for patients to understand. And hospitals have to know whether what they are doing, or plan to do, is working to positively affect revenue cycle.
To that end, starting in 2016 the task force began taking a gap analysis of the technology, national standards and uniform operating rules needed to support the patient experience and to share complex data in a meaningful and actionable way.
It will present its findings during HIMSS18 in Las Vegas in March, with the date and time of the session to be set.
Beth Griffin, chair of the task force, said the group has been looking at each experience of the patient, from pre-service to post-service.
"There's gaps all across the board," Griffin said. "One of the more common ones is the sharing of patient information across health systems."
If a hospital uses an EHR such as Epic or Cerner, it's common for the provider to share the information within its own system. But if the patient has gone outside of the network to a provider that's not sharing the same platform, that interoperability is a gap, Griffin said.
Conceptually, hospitals could look to move to a cloud-based platform to share data. Interoperability is a big piece across the board.
Griffin is chief product and marketing officer for Health Payment Systems in Wisconsin. Her company created a consolidated healthcare bill that can be sent out like a monthly credit card statement.
The task force considers a single, consolidated bill as one way to help close a financial revenue cycle gap.
"The consumer understands the bill and pays it quickly," Griffin said. "Our role is not making recommendations. It is to understand the gaps so the market of innovators can do it."
The task force has been working on building out and executing the vision of the patient experience. What they want to know is: what innovations are needed in the market to make the vision a reality?
And what innovations are working and which ones are not?
The task force is looking for hospitals and physicians to provide patient experience stories to post online to what the group is calling the Patient Financial Experience of the Future.
Organizations can volunteer to be interviewed or send in the patient financial experience story in an online submission form.
"We're soliciting feedback from organizations that may have innovations on gaps," Rodgers said.
At HIMSS18 Pam Jodock, senior director for Health Business Solutions will spotlight one of the patient experience stories.
Solutions sent in do not have to be "fully baked" with concrete ROI.
"We are also interested in hearing about solutions that are under development or in the pilot phase," Jodock said.
To submit a call for patient experience stories, please visit: http://www.himss.org/library/health-business-solutions/revenue-cycle-resources