Measuring the ROI of patient communications

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Insights from MGMA’s Medical Practice Excellence Pathways Conference.

At MGMA’s Medical Practice Excellence Pathways Conference, Ronald D. Spoltore, executive board member of American Health Connection and Amy Lee, vice president and chief operating officer of Central Maine Medical Group, gave a presentation on how practices can ensure they are receiving a good return on investment (ROI) with their patient communication platforms, particularly call centers.

According to the presentation, communications management consists of scheduling/inbound functions (i.e., pre-registration, insurance verification, financial clarence, physician referrals, order capture/indexing, etc.) and outbound functions (i.e., post discharge follow-up, patient satisfaction surveys, appointment reminders, and pre-appointment/visit prep calls).

"Given the wide-spread adoption of technology and expansion of healthcare options, patients are rapidly becoming consumers of care rather than recipients,” the presenters said. “They will demand fundamental changes in Patient Communications processes”

Over the next two years, the presenters estimate, call centers will become more strategic to revenue growth as staffing demands and budgets increase, turnover rate exceeds 18%, advanced technologies increase in cost, facility costs become a premium, and salary/benefit costs rise to meet demand.

To leverage call centers in today’s virtual world, the presenter suggest practices improve productivity and increase effective use of resources, have overflow support, ensure after-hours and weekend availability in call centers, reduce abandoned calls received by the call centers, centralize functions, and eliminate variables.

Below are the ways the presenters suggest practices can measure the ROI of their patient communications.