Enhancing the Patient Financial Experience Utilizing a Dedicated Customer Service Unit

Chip Dalton

An effective and patient-friendly customer service team is critical to ensuring a positive patient financial experience. With increased focus on pricing transparency and more knowledgeable consumers, it is the customer service unit within your organization that can greatly determine a patient’s overall financial experience.

These four key principles can help improve your customer service function.

Handling all patient complaints and billing concerns. Patients need someone knowledgeable who can help them navigate their statements, be empathetic, and address any concerns they may have about the experience they have had at the organization.

Delegating all correspondence and insurance remits. Customer service representatives can provide essential assistance by assigning specific correspondence and remits from insurance companies to the appropriate party.

Coordinate and monitor early out vendor. The customer service representatives are vital in monitoring patient statements being sent to the patient in a timely manner and in sequence.

Monitor and complete self-pay refunds. If a patient pays more than their responsibility, the customer service department can confirm these overpayments and complete a refund for the patient.

As you assess the efficacy of your patient financial experience, consider these key questions:

Does your organization have a dedicated customer service unit and place a specific emphasis around the patient from end to end of the revenue cycle (scheduling through payment)?
Does your organization have personnel whose main job function is answering phone calls from the patient and addressing their concerns?
Do you consistently field complaints from patients on not receiving their statements in a timely maner, not understanding their bill, or feeling as their issue is not addressed?
Does your organization offer tools to the patient that keep them engaged in their care through an online patient portal or secure messaging system, so the patients can efficiently and effectively reach customer service staff members?

As organizations develop a holistic approach to treating patients, the customer service unit will be critical to addressing a patient’s concerns. This unit can potentially lead to recurring patient volumes, increased patient collections, higher HCAHPS scores, fewer patient complaints, increased efficiency in revenue cycle processes, and risk mitigation. Our experienced healthcare team can aid in implementing a new customer service team and assessing other areas around improving a patient’s experience.


Contact Chip Dalton at cdalton@ddafhealthcare.com or (859) 425-7683