#JoinTheConversation on Patient Engagement with Experian Health at #HIMSS17
This #JoinTheConversation series is brought to you by our partner Experian Health and the episodes will be broadcast live in Experian Health’s booth (#3503) at the The HIMSS17 Annual Conference and Exhibition. The interviews will be recorded and will be published to the media player on this page. Bookmark this site to follow along with thought leaders from health systems across the country. Also, read more read more about why More than 60% of U.S. hospitals count on Experian Health.
Paul Hoffman, Executive Vice President, Patient Engagement of Experian Health joined us for this special episode to discuss Experian Health’s view of the current and future states of Patient Engagement.
Joe Lavelle 00:47 Welcome to a very special episode of Intrepid Healthcare. We are very excited to be previewing our collaboration with Experian Health at HIMSS ‘17 where we will broadcast a special show called Join The Conversation, right from Experian Health’s booth, #3503. Experian Health is making a concentrated effort to have meaningful conversations with their customers and their prospects and we can’t think of a better way to do that at HIMSS than to bring our radio show right into their booth for our mutual audience.
We’re going to get right to it today. We are joined by Paul Hoffman, Executive Vice President, Patient Engagement of Experian Health. Paul welcome to the show.
Paul Hoffman 01:26 Hi! Thank you Joe.
Joe Lavelle 01:28 Well, thanks for making the time to be with us today Paul. Before we start our discussion, could you take a few seconds, and tell the audience about you and your background.
Paul Hoffman 01:36 Sure. I’ve been passionate about helping the patient with their financial experience since 1991. So I started out right after college and I started a company back in 1995 called HealthCom Partners that pioneered a lot of patient friendly tools that you see out there today. Three of my clients were on the first HFMA patient friendly billing committee that helped craft a lot of their strategy. So I love making life easier for patients when it comes to dealing with the experience of managing all their healthcare finances and look forward to talking to you today.
Joe Lavelle 02:24 Alright, and then could you give us a 10,000 foot overview of how you serve your customers at Experian Health Solutions.
Paul Hoffman 02:17 Sure, so what we do is we build patient friendly patient engagement tools that could range from the patient self service portals to a mobile platform to messaging platforms, patient statements, patient estimating tools. So anything that touches the patient. We are working with focus groups and providers and trying to make the most friendly, simplest to use products that a patient can use.
Joe Lavelle 02:45 Awesome and patient engagement certainly has been a topic that’s gotten red-hot in the last couple of years, from your perspective though Paul, where is the market, what is the current state of the market?
Paul Hoffman 02:54 Well, the future for patient engagement became very clear when we go out and do focus groups with providers and their patients. And what we are hearing from our clients and providers out there is that 40% of all their patients today are on charity and 40% are on payment plans, so you are looking at about 80% of their patients needing charity or payment plans. And a lot of that is manual processes inside of the provider. And we also heard from a lot of consumers and patients out there that they are very confused about how they can afford their care. Clearly the thing that is on the top of our minds given this rising out of pocket expenses, is how can we anticipate what a patient needs when they leave the hospital using the Experian Health Credit Data, and proactively reach out to that patient with something that could be an activation offer for their charity care or their payment plan immediately after their service.
And so what we feel is this is a much more compassionate approach to what happens today, so leveraging the Experian credit data to be more proactive and predictive is a much more compassionate approach that will shift the patients behavior instead of taking that patients statement for $500 and put it under the stack of their bills. That one size fits all approach is not going to work anymore. So we are trying to move to a very personalized patient engagement strategy that is more aligned with the patients needs and then give the patient all the digital automation tools so they can go and automate it and be done with it very quickly and they can focus on their health. And so that is really the direction we see when it comes to the financial engagement part of the experience.
Another focus for the future is helping the providers behave more like actual retailers as consumers are starting to demand the price transparency and more convenience and a better customer experience. So what we see is providers needing to bring clarity to the complexity of purchasing and paying for the health care with tools. So that’s a big request from providers and patients today when it comes to helping the patient understand the prices and allowing them to actually shop for their service before they come to the hospital or doctor visit.
Joe Lavelle 05:31 Tell us some more about this; it sounds like you are saying this rise of consumerism in healthcare. Are the patients really ready to be consumers as opposed to how it was years ago when I don’t think a patient really was a consumer, their employer paid for their health care and they just took whatever they got?
Paul Hoffman 05:48 I think the day has come that they are ready to do that and even in some states like Ohio recently passed the law that started in January of this year where all the providers have to offer a price transparency tool. With the rising out of the pocket expenses, people are going to start acting more like a consumer before they have their service and shopping for it. So it looks like it is gaining some steam among other states and so I think in the future this could be more of a federal law where providers have to offer the option to shop for the service.
Joe Lavelle 06:24 Paul, how are you helping your clients with the patient financing shift?
Paul Hoffman 06:28 So our vision is that consumers want one clear view into their health care finances and they want 24/7 access from their mobile phone. So our product is fully mobile responsive and it also contains a price transparency tool that allows them to get a price estimate for their future service that’s actually based on their current insurance benefits. So the focus for us is really helping those patients who are shopping and want to use their mobile phone. And we are adding to that the ability to tailor the service to their personal needs by using the Experian Health credit data. So they are using their mobile phone to shop for the healthcare experience, and with our data driven personalized engagement approach we are able to reach out to them and tell them exactly what they need to do for their healthcare finance and admin experience.
So those three things are really key for us and by making one single site with all of the patients estimates and all of their billing information and all of their eligibility information, they can see where they stand with the deductible, and allowing them to do this from their mobile phone, we feel really gives them the same experience that they are having from other well-known brand retailers out there that they are using today with their mobile phone.
Joe Lavelle 7:49 Can you provide us some details about that softer side of collections for a provider and how you were helping providers in that regard?
Paul Hoffman7:57 Sure. A great example would be, patients today have told us in focus groups that they are very confused when it comes to applying for charity care, or should they set up a payment plan. So what we are trying to do is as soon as the patient leaves the hospital, we understand their needs and we have the Experian credit data that can help us segment out the patient, and we can then send the patient an activation alert through their mobile phone to tell them that they should go and activate a charity care application, or they should go and activate a payment plan.
And so what we are able to do is automate this process which is taking up a lot of time on the admin side of the hospital’s billing department manually doing these charity care applications and payment plans. And so what we feel is if we can be predictive in knowing where each patient fits and then reach out to them using digital mobile tools and alerts to get them to activate and complete their application. That is a much quicker way than patients being confused about where they stand with their healthcare finances from their providers.
So what we are hoping for is that the automation will allow the providers to spend less time manually helping these patients do it, and they can move those admin to other departments in other areas of the hospital and the automation will then allow the patient to get on with their life and not have to worry and stress and have anxiety about how are they going to afford their $500 out of pocket expenses.
Joe Lavelle 9:36 Outstanding. Tell me which of your solutions or maybe it’s all of your solutions that you are excited about demonstrating at HIMMS and some of the activities that you plan on showing at HIMSS?
Paul Hoffman 9:47 Sure, so we are maximizing the value of our best in class eCare NEXT assets by making them patient-facing. A lot of the things that you will see at HIMMS is a single platform that’s bringing together our patients estimates and our eligibility information or our financial assistance screening to allow the patient to do that now. In the past it was the admin who would do this at registration, but now by using our patient self-service platform, in addition to allowing the patient to pay all of their hospital and provider bills and receive these date driven alerts about what they should do, they are also doing estimates and checking their insurance deductible information and finishing their financial assistance application. There is a lot of use cases that were only focused on the admin helping the patient go through this workflow that are now being turned to the patient in our new platform.
So a lot of people are going to see a single platform that gives one clear view into shopping for your healthcare experience, paying your bill, checking your insurance deductible information, applying for financial assistance, setting up a payment plan, doing your pre reg, scheduling an appointment. So it is really one site that allows the patient to do everything they need when it comes to the health care and admin experience.
Joe Lavelle 11:04 Perfect. Thanks for sharing that. I can’t wait to see that myself in Orlando, but at this time I want everybody to go out to www.experian.com/healthcare, bookmark the site, keep up with the great things that Paul and his team are doing at Experian Health. Paul it is so great to have you on the show. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your great plans for HIMSS17.
Paul Hoffman 11:26 Hey, thanks Joe for having us.
Joe Lavelle 11:28 Alright, it is our pleasure. We better get back to work and keep busy on HIMSS17. We hope you will join the conversation with us in Orlando. That’s going to wrap this special episode, On behalf of Experian Health and specifically Paul Hoffman, I’m Joe Lavelle, and we’ll see you soon, on intrepid Healthcare.
About Paul Hoffman
Paul Hoffman is responsible for creating and designing our patient portal solutions. He pioneered the patient-friendly billing movement in 1991 at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago and his efforts lead to the launch of a uniquely human-centered approach to patient-communications at premier health systems like Cedars-Sinai, Stanford Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Advocate, Sutter Health and UCSF. In 2001, Paul developed the industry’s first self-service Online Business Office for patients, which is used by over 500 hospitals in America, touching over 50 million people across the country. Paul is a passionate visionary devoted to using design thinking and developing technology to improve the patient experience.
About Experian Health
More than 60% of U.S. hospitals count on Experian Health. These providers—along with thousands of medical practices, labs, pharmacies and other risk-bearing entities—are making smarter business decisions, boosting their bottom lines and strengthening patient relationships. Our clients have discovered the value of our revenue cycle management, identity management, patient engagement and care management solutions to power opportunities in the new era of value-based reimbursement.
Experian Health is powered by the strong healthcare heritage of our legacy companies, plus the deep data and analytics capabilities of Experian. This unique combination positions us well to help you succeed.
Revenue cycle management solutions automate orders, patient access, contract management, claims management and collections to improve efficiency and increase reimbursement.
Identity management solutions match, manage, and protect patient identities to enable accurate patient information and to safeguard medical information.
Patient engagement solutions connect patients with personalized portals to create price estimates, apply for charity care, set-up payment plans, combine payments to hospitals and physicians and schedule appointments.
Care management solutions organize and enable sharing of post-acute patient care information to help providers succeed in the new era of value-based reimbursement.