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Patient Access 2018
A Deeper Dive Into Broad Adoption

author - Paul Pitcher
Paul Pitcher
author - Alex McIntosh
Alex McIntosh
September 6, 2018 | Read Time: 4  minutes

With the rise of high-deductible health plans, provider organizations are increasingly utilizing tools and processes that facilitate patient payments and guard against bad debt, and they are more reliant on technology to manage patient access activities. Hoping for a more streamlined workflow, many are consolidating to a single vendor for multiple tools. As this transition continues, how does the experience of broad adopters† compare to that of limited adopters? Is automated preauthorization the game-changing functionality vendors describe and customers seek? What impact are current patient access solutions having? KLAS spoke to 60+ broad adopters in addition to 70+ customers with more limited adoption to get their feedback.

patient access components currently in use

Experian Excels with Broad Adopters, Struggles with Limited Adopters; AccuReg Consistently Delivers High-Touch Experience

overall performance broad adopters vs limited adopters

For most vendors, limited-adopter customers are still slightly more satisfied than broad adopters. The exception is Experian Health, whose broad-adopter customers are nearly 20% more satisfied overall than their limited-adopter counterparts. Experian’s solution is designed to be workflow driven, enhancing the experience of broad adopters, who, compared to limited adopters, receive better training, are more satisfied with the attention and service they receive from Experian, and more often feel the product has needed functionality. Limited adopters’ poor service experience drags down Experian’s overall score; these customers report poor ticket resolution, lack of follow-up, and difficulty getting ahold of the vendor.

Overall, both AccuReg Software’s broad-adopter and limited-adopter customers are pleased with their vendor relationship. Several mention the CEO by name, and all describe a high-touch partnership, which can help them tailor the solution to their specific needs.

Recondo Technology Leads the Way in Automated Preauthorizations

validated use of patient access components

Across vendors, automated preauthorizations are difficult and slow to develop and deploy. Recondo Technology stands out with 80% of interviewed broad-adopter customers using automated preauthorizations (almost double the market average). As the first vendor to use web bots to scan payer websites for needed information, Recondo led the market in advancing preauthorizations. Compared to other vendors’ customers, Recondo customers using automated preauthorization functionality tend to have been using their solution longer and have it more fully set up, although they are not immune to common functionality challenges.

Common challenges (regardless of vendor) include a limited number of payers in the solution (due to slow payer participation) and authorization inaccuracies, leading users to mistrust the tool and do double work to confirm authorizations. When solutions work well, customers see common successes, including increased efficiency (less time spent on the phone or payer websites) and increased accuracy, leading to fewer denials and improved collections.

Customer Perceptions of Their Patient Access Solution’s Impact 

solution impact on patient experience

When customers struggle to get accurate estimates, they are less likely to report that their system has a highly positive impact on patients. Recondo Technology falls behind all other vendors in impact on patients, staff, and billing (latter two discussed below). Specifically regarding patient impact, Recondo has the lowest percentage of customers reporting a highly positive impact. Though these customers do report a slightly positive impact overall, they express less enthusiasm about their solution than other vendors’ customers, giving fewer specifics about how it has positively impacted patients or benefited their organization (accurate estimates, increased point-of-service collections, less rescheduling, etc.). Other vendors’ customers, such as Experian Health’s, are more likely to tell detailed patient success stories when talking about the impact of their solution on patients.

solution impact on staff satisfaction

Often employees resist a new patient access solution at first, but initial pushback is not an indication of long-term negative impact on staff. DCS Global’s customers in particular see that resistance tends to fade with time: one-third of the broad adopters KLAS spoke with report their staff initially struggled with the solution or was hesitant to use a new, unfamiliar workflow, but 100% of respondents report that over time, the staff experience became positive. Regardless of vendor, respondents say staff satisfaction is driven by having needed functionality and having quality, comprehensive training from knowledgeable trainers (through the vendor or the provider organization).

solution impact on back end billing

Regardless of vendor, many interviewed organizations don’t see a clear connection between their patient access system and back-end billing and report no impact on billing processes. Those who more readily make the connection tend to report a highly positive impact. Change Healthcare is the only vendor with all interviewed customers reporting a positive impact on back-end billing. Other vendors’ customers mostly report a positive impact, with a small handful reporting a negative impact or no impact. Change Healthcare customers praise the solution’s registration process and up-front collections, which help smooth out back-end billing. Customers also say system alerts about potential billing problems are helpful and reduce back-end billing issues, even if the comprehensiveness of these alerts can be an annoyance.

best practicesfor point of service collections
author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.