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Pulse Check—Patient Financial Engagement 2021 Pulse Check—Patient Financial Engagement 2021
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Pulse Check—Patient Financial Engagement 2021
Recent PFE Adopters Realizing Outcomes

author - Mac Boyter
Mac Boyter
author - Alex McIntosh
Alex McIntosh
October 12, 2021 | Read Time: 5  minutes

Interest in patient financial engagement (PFE) solutions is high as provider organizations seek to improve their revenue cycle and the patient financial experience. As part of other research, KLAS interviewed 13 financial leaders whose organizations have recently adopted a PFE solution. Though from a small sample, these interviews yielded valuable insights regarding the outcomes that are possible with a PFE platform. While future KLAS research will explore more vendor-differentiating insights, this report provides an early pulse check on the potential PFE solutions have to elevate the patient experience while improving provider organization revenue (a rare combination). A small amount of data from KLAS’ standard software performance evaluation is also included to provide context as to how each vendor is performing in the market.

Main Reason for Adopting a PFE Solution Is to Improve Patient Financial Experience

Organizations evaluating whether to purchase a PFE solution should note that feedback from current PFE customers is very positive overall, and several vendors achieve high customer satisfaction. Provider organizations repeatedly share that their PFE solution helps them achieve tangible results. A majority of respondents say their primary goal in purchasing a PFE solution was to improve patients’ financial experience. Other types of solutions used to process patient payments are typically viewed as outdated and inaccurate, leading to low satisfaction among both patients and provider organizations. PFE solutions can offer a variety of functionality to enhance the financial experience, but according to respondents, the unified patient payment portal is the most commonly adopted and the most beneficial. This portal can simplify the patient payment process, consolidate statements into a single location, and offer payment plans to patients, thereby improving patients’ ability to engage and take ownership of their healthcare bills.

problems customers want to solve with pfe solution
adopted functionalities
customer experience pillars

Majority of Organizations Achieve Key Outcomes & Near-Immediate ROIs

In addition to improving patient satisfaction, many provider organizations have significantly reduced costs (mainly from reducing the number of FTEs required to handle payments) and increased collections, regardless of the PFE solution they use. Multiple respondents have seen their patient collections and cash steadily increase since implementing their PFE solution because it makes the payment process easier and more convenient for patients. All respondents but one report realizing an ROI within the first 12 months of implementing their PFE solution; many saw near-immediate results.

outcomes organizations use to measure roi
time to roi

Few Organizations Foresee Using PFE Solution from Their EMR Vendor

do you expect your emr vendor to provide a comparable pfe solution and if your emr vendor develped a pfe solution would you switch to that solutionAll respondents in this study use third-party PFE solutions, but will they continue to do so if EMR vendors enter the PFE market? Most respondents don’t believe their current EMR vendor will develop a comparable PFE solution in the near future, and few would switch even if their vendor released a solution. Only two respondents would move to a PFE solution from their EMR vendor (both are Epic customers); one doesn’t feel Epic currently has a comparable PFE solution. While EMR vendors currently offer pieces of PFE functionality, none offer a comprehensive platform, and some don’t intend to offer certain functionalities (e.g., payment plans for patients). One CEO of an ambulatory group shared, “I guarantee Cerner, Epic, and all the other EMR vendors will come out with something similar to [our PFE vendor’s solution], but the EMR vendors will pale in comparison. One vendor can’t be good at everything.” Other respondents feel similarly; they are deeply loyal to their PFE vendor because of the vendor’s valuable relationship and focus on improving the patient financial experience.

Organizations Achieve Valuable Outcomes with Their PFE Solutions

“Our time to collect was reduced by 15 days. For us, that was a huge cash acceleration. We went from no payments coming through digitally to 57% of all payments coming through digitally. A huge proportion of our patients are now paying that way, and the process is much cleaner. Our collection rate improved; it nearly doubled.” —VP of revenue cycle

Flywire (Simplee)
“Flywire has been good in helping to drive tangible outcomes. We are definitely seeing a lot more volume with online payments, and Flywire has driven a lot of adoption.” —VP of business office

“We saw a significant decrease in call volumes and manual processes within the first two months. And within four to five months, we saw an increase in point-of-service and post-service collections and a reduction in self-pay A/R.” —Director of revenue cycle

“We watch the self-pay collections over time, and those have continued to trend upward. We have reduced the number of FTEs because we have better touchpoints through the RevSpring product than we did through just having the staff deal with patient complaints.” —Director of business office

“The value is in the consumer experience completely and in meeting people where they want to interact with us.” —VP of business office

Click a vendor’s name (where available) to watch a video featuring the client experience.

The data in this report comes from two sources: (1) KLAS performance data, and (2) KLAS perception data.

KLAS Performance Data

Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT products and services their organizations use. For this report, interviews were conducted over the last 12 months using KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation, which is composed of 16 numeric ratings questions and 4 yes/no questions, all weighted equally. Combined, the ratings for these questions make up the overall performance score, which is measured on a 100-point scale. The questions are organized into six customer experience pillars—culture, loyalty, operations, product, relationship, and value.

customer experience pillars software

The number of unique responding organizations for each vendor is given in the table below.

about this report

What Does “Limited Data” Mean?

Some products are used in only a small number of facilities, some vendors are resistant to providing client lists, and some respondents choose not to answer particular questions. Thus a vendor’s sample size may vary from question to question and may not reach KLAS’ required threshold of 15 unique respondents. When a vendor’s sample size for a particular question is less than 15, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 6, no score is shown. Note that when a vendor has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

KLAS Perception Data

To supplement the customer satisfaction data gathered with the standard evaluation, KLAS also created a supplemental evaluation to delve deeper into several questions specific to the patient financial engagement market. This evaluation asked respondents (1) why they adopted their PFE technology, (2) how they are measuring outcomes and how quickly they are realizing an ROI, and (3) whether they perceive their EMR vendor developing a comparable PFE solution and whether they would switch to an EMR vendor’s solution.

author - Sarah Hanson
Sarah Hanson
author - Natalie Jamison
Project Manager
Natalie Jamison
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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.