As the healthcare industry’s only automated consumer engagement platform powered by psychographics, PatientBond conducts extensive market research on psychographic segmentation, patient engagement and other related topics. We regularly share this data with healthcare professionals to arm them with the knowledge and resources they need to tackle issues like patient acquisition and health outcomes.
In a recent edition of the Urgent Care Association’s (UCA) weekly newsletter, UCAccess, we had the privilege of discussing a topic that is likely on everyone’s mind with the start of the new year: Revenue Cycle Management. PatientBond’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Analytics, Brent Walker, penned an article titled, “How Consumer Psychology & Automated Collections Can Help Your Urgent Care Center Shorten Its Revenue Cycle,” explaining how automated, psychographic-powered engagement can help urgent care facilities accelerate patient self-pay and increase their market share.
UCA is recognized as the largest, most notable trade and professional association in the urgent care industry. We are proud to have been featured in this publication — and to share our findings.
PatientBond’s Urgent Care Insights
Healthcare costs are on many consumers’ minds — and for good reason. Not only have total health expenditures have increased substantially since 1970, but out-of-pocket expenditures have also continued to rise. As our SVP of Marketing and Analytics explains in the aforementioned article,
“Sixty-eight percent of patients failed to fully pay off medical bills in 2016, and this number is expected to climb to 95% by 2020. When patients receive bills they weren’t expecting or for amounts higher than they had budgeted, it can have a significant impact on their behavior and potentially cause them to avoid paying the bill as long as possible. This avoidance of patient payments, in turn, hurts your organization’s revenue cycle.”
So, how do urgent care centers overcome this challenge while still offering their patients a high level of care? By leveraging consumer psychology and automated engagement.
Let’s start with consumer psychology. While demographic and socioeconomic information provide some insight into consumer behavior, these factors often don’t go deep enough. Psychographics, on the other hand, paint a more detailed picture of consumers’ wants and needs. Explains Walker,
“Psychographics pertain to people’s attitudes, values, lifestyles and personalities and are core to their motivations and communication preferences. Psychographics explain why people do what they do and what messaging will activate desired behaviors. Further, psychographic segmentation is the grouping of consumers according to these psychographic traits for more effective engagement.”
PatientBond’s proprietary psychographic segmentation model classifies patients as one of five segments: Self Achievers, Balance Seekers, Priority Jugglers, Direction Takers, and Willful Endurers. Each psychographic segment has different attitudes regarding finances and their ability to pay medical bills. Understanding these differences is the first step to motivating patient self-pay in urgent care facilities. For example,
“Willful Endurers are much more likely to believe they cannot afford healthcare, and this research also indicates they are the most likely segment to avoid paying a medical bill. This finding is important for urgent care, because Willful Endurers represent 67% of all patients who visit an urgent center quarterly or more frequently. Urgent care center performance can be driven by Willful Endurer patients, but this segment is most likely to represent challenges in self-pay collections.”
By recognizing that not all patients are the same, you see why “one size fits all” messaging is typically ineffective. Urgent care facilities can significantly increase collections by segmenting their patients and crafting communications that speak to their unique attitudes and motivations.
The channels through which patients prefer to receive balance statements and pay their medical bills also differ between psychographic segments. Willful Endurers, for example, prefer to receive statements via email rather than through the mail. They would also prefer to pay their balance online via credit card over all other forms of payment.
Further, PatientBond research shows that automating these payment reminders not only increase collections but also reduce time to pay — all while taking work off the shoulders of urgent care staff.
The above findings were featured in the December 19th edition of Urgent Care Access (UCAccess), UCA’s newsletter that explores relevant issues affecting the urgent care industry. This newsletter is delivered to more than 20,000 urgent care providers and health professionals every week. We are proud to be featured in this industry-leading publication that has also shared insights from other UCA vendors as well as notable sources like The Associated Press, The New York Times, and Financial Times.
To read “How Consumer Psychology & Automated Collections Can Help Your Urgent Care Center Shorten Its Revenue Cycle” in full, visit UCA’s blog or view the December 19th edition of UCAccess. For more on psychographic segmentation as it relates to patient engagement and self-pay, download our whitepaper.