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7 takeaways from Health Care Insights Survey for providers

Ring Central Blog

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4 min read

Highlights:


CVS recently released its 2021 Health Care Insights Survey, in which it details what providers can learn from consumer insights about their healthcare journeys. There were some interesting takeaways regarding the cost of healthcare in the US, as well as patients’ understanding (or lack thereof) of their insurance.

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Which takeaways should be of greatest interest to providers regarding patients’ comprehension of their insurance? Why should providers care?

Takeaways about healthcare affordability

There are some interesting (and saddening) takeaways about patients’ perceptions of healthcare affordability:

How familiar are patients with how to pay for medical care?

The other set of takeaways that are equally (if not more) concerning have to do with patients’ knowledge of paying for medical care. Here are some statistics from the CVS report:

Why should healthcare providers care about patients’ understanding of healthcare and insurance costs?

Healthcare providers can make the argument that it’s the payers’ job to ensure the patient understands what their plan covers. After all, payers are the ones who are insuring these patients.

However, it’s a healthcare provider’s duty to ensure the patient has the appropriate level of health literacy. Health literacy is the degree to which an individual can find, understand, and use information and services to inform decisions and actions regarding healthcare for themselves and others.

Low health literacy, especially regarding health insurance coverage, can lead to negative effects for providers:

RingCentral for healthcare

What can healthcare providers do to help patients understand healthcare costs and insurance coverage?

Providers can take action to help patients understand healthcare costs and insurance coverage. Fortunately for them, technology is available to help them so the burden is lower for them and their staff.

What kind of technology can providers leverage to assist their patients? Healthcare communication tools make it easier for providers and their staff to share information. Specifically, unified communications platforms offer a number of benefits.

Unified communications platforms are a set of communication tools in a single platform, including:

Leveraging unified communications platforms to educate patients

Here’s how providers can leverage unified communications platforms to educate patients about healthcare costs and insurance:

Creating a dedicated hotline to help patients

Unified communications platforms can be utilized to create a contact center within your office. You can set up a dedicated hotline to address patient concerns regarding health insurance. With a dedicated hotline, your patients have a “safe” place to turn to where they can find information about their healthcare insurance and costs.

Giving patients flexible communication options to reach out to providers

Another benefit of unified communications is that they offer flexible communications to patients—telephony, video conference, and chat. In a multi-channel world, 40 percent of patients expect providers to offer a variety of digital communications.

With unified communications, patients can reach out to providers through the channel of their choice to receive the information they need about healthcare costs and insurance.

Offering self-service options to patients to find information on their own

Forrester analysts report that customers would rather use a knowledge base than talk to a human being. Unified communications platforms allow providers to set up a knowledge base so that patients can find information about healthcare costs and insurance on their own.

For patients who are tech-savvy but may lack health literacy skills, a knowledge base can be a low-pressure, welcoming way to find information on the subjects they need.

Automating communications

To show how unified communications platforms automate communications, we’ll illustrate with an example. James goes to the doctor to discuss the results of a routine blood test. It turns out his white blood cell count is elevated, and the doctor wants to do more tests.

This news alarms James, and he’s not in the right frame of mind to think about healthcare costs or insurance coverage after he leaves the office. However, he starts thinking about it when he gets home. To help James understand his costs, the provider sends an automated text message after the appointment with a link to more information about the next steps (including what it will cost him). James feels more confident about the process and the costs as a result.

Improve healthcare communications with RingCentral’s unified communications platform

RingCentral’s communications platform offers flexible communications options, self-service options, and automated communications to connect with and educate patients. To learn more, get a demo.

Originally published Sep 21, 2021, updated Sep 20, 2021

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