Whether you’re at the helm of one outpatient rehab facility or many, the challenge to provide exceptional clinical care—and remain profitable enough to continue supporting your staff and serving your patients—remains the same. And while this challenge certainly isn’t anything new in our profession, it’s getting increasingly difficult to overcome as regulations become more stringent and adhering to them becomes more time-consuming—all as payments continue to decrease. Given the current state of healthcare reform, strategies for mitigating revenue risk that may have worked well in the past—you know, things like renegotiating payer contracts or sending extra fruit baskets to referral sources—aren’t going to cut it any longer. But, all is not lost: outpatient rehab facility owners, managers, and administrators might benefit from a few updated methods (spoiler alert: they all involve leveraging patient engagement technology). With that in mind, here are three patient-focused ways to mitigate revenue risk in your outpatient rehab facilities:
1. Monitor the patient experience.
We all know the important role patient experience plays in achieving positive clinical outcomes—and overall practice success. After all, happy, loyal patients are not only more likely to stick with their therapy plans of care—thus achieving better results than patients who drop out before discharge—but they’re also more likely to share their positive experiences with friends and family members, thus potentially helping you serve even more patients. But how can you really gauge your patients’ loyalty? Well, you can start by quantifying the customer experience with Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) tracking, which involves simply asking patients how likely they are to refer your services to a friend. And, if you use integrated patient engagement software, you’ll be able to automate the NPS process and easily analyze the results of your patients’ responses. That way, you can implement necessary improvements to better manage customer retention and drive business growth. You’ll also be able to quickly identify those patients who are anything less than thrilled with your services and reach out directly to make things right—before they no-show on their next appointment.
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2. Improve patient engagement.
Today, providing exceptional clinical care and keeping patients engaged in the process so they complete their treatment protocol in its entirety requires provider-patient touch points before, between, and after clinic visits. While some providers are able to manage this type of patient engagement manually—that is, by sending one-off emails or making phone calls every so often to check in—that’s an incredibly difficult thing to do well (and consistently) at scale. For large operations—or even small ones on a high-growth trajectory—it’s nearly impossible. That’s where software automation can be a game-changer. With robust patient engagement software, you can not only automate outreach to connect with patients at key points during the care process and beyond (think welcome emails, check-ins, surveys, and targeted content), but also provide those patients with access to an online portal through which they can view custom exercise programs, track their workouts, and monitor their own progress. And all of that will help keep your patients on track to achieve positive outcomes—and to continue showing up to their appointments.
3. Boost positive reviews.
With patients taking the reins on (and footing a larger portion of the bill for) their healthcare decisions, they’re doing a lot more research on their healthcare providers and treatment options—and right now, most of that research is occurring online. That’s why it’s imperative that you have numerous positive reviews on some of the more popular online review sites—in addition to a strong online presence overall. The best way to boost your positive reviews is by asking your happy patients to provide them. And, assuming you’re monitoring the patient experience by tracking your NPS (as discussed in number one above), you’ll be able to pinpoint your happiest patients and automatically send a message requesting that they sing your praises online. Not only will a slew of positive reviews ensure that all prospective patients have a positive first impression of your services, but it will also bolster search rankings, thus helping more new patients find you. That, in, turn should improve new patient acquisition numbers—and your reputation.
Health care is changing, which means the strategies providers employ to thrive in this new era need to change as well. Niche technological solutions—like WebPT’s fully HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant patient engagement software, WebPT Reach, which is designed specifically for rehab therapy patients—can help. To learn how you can leverage WebPT Reach to monitor the patient experience, improve patient engagement, and boost positive reviews—thereby mitigating revenue risk—request a free consultation today.