What is Digital Engagement and why is it important to your consumers?

Posted on April 26, 2022 by Now Marketing

Kristen Jacobsen of RevSpring recently shared insights on digital engagement in the healthcare industry on The Revenue Cycle Rundown, a new live show hosted by KeyBridge Medical Revenue Care. She shed light on what digital engagement is and how important it’s become to the industry.

In our first episode, we kicked off the conversation with expert Kristen Jacobsen around the idea “What is digital engagement and why is it important to your consumers? Kristen is the Vice President of Product Development at RevSpring. Her duties include ongoing product and strategic marketing development. Her unique perspective in the healthcare industry is a result of her 25 years of experience, including both management roles and leading the integration of new technologies within the organization.

Those new technologies have helped to lay the groundwork for RevSpring’s digital communication initiatives. Digital engagement has been central to how RevSpring has continued to build solid relationships with its customers, helping to increase early-stage patient balance recoveries over the past several years. Keybridge is a fully integrated, preferred vendor partner of these RevSpring-powered digital tools and we couldn’t think of anyone better than Kristen to help us launch our live show.

So what is digital engagement?

The digital transformation in healthcare has been a long time coming. Even today, many providers — rural hospitals in particular — are hesitant to make the transition to a digital communication model. There is a long-held belief, with so much of the healthcare market geared towards older demographics, that a digital communication strategy would be ineffective.

This is one of the driving factors behind why healthcare communication is print-centric — an assumption based on generalizations instead of data. After all, statements in the mail are familiar and, with recent changes in the industry, more transparent than ever. That clear and concise communication has helped to improve payment rates, but it’s nevertheless a one-channel approach.

“Digital engagement meets patients where they are. — Brian Garver”

Rather than an omnichannel approach for every patient, digital engagement uses quantifiable data and predictive models to better understand the best communication method for each individual patient. Digital engagement helps determine the most effective — and preferred — form of communication based on prior user behavior. These tools include opt-in, opt-out, and other analytical formulas.

“What we really want to do is find that right balance. — Kristen Jacobsen.”

That balance helps to drive increased revenue and greater overall patient satisfaction.

What types of shifts are we seeing in the consumer healthcare market?

As with many other consumer-choice driven industries, the healthcare market is seeing more and more customers who prefer non-traditional forms of communication. As healthcare provider choices are more diversified today than in years past, the patient journey reflects individual preferences that are at the core of a consumerism model.

What is the public looking for?

First, they’re looking for companies that honor their preferences. As in any relationship, when communication breaks down, nothing else can happen. Today’s healthcare market has a “digital front door” where consumers primarily perform their pre-visit research online. Using various digital tools, not the least of which is their healthcare insurance portal to find in-network doctors.

Those that embrace that model are also looking for the same types of post-care communication convenience. Take appointment reminders, for example. Many providers today send a text message confirming your appointment and provide early check-in via text message.

Consumer preference defines healthcare today.

“It’s about connecting that patient experience and ensuring that those preferences are honored throughout the patient journey. — Kristen Jacobsen”

What are the benefits for healthcare providers to offer a digital-first communication option?

As mentioned, some healthcare providers have fully embraced digital. Others are hesitant, some due to misconceptions and others due to staffing concerns. Let’s address the latter for a moment. Some patients prefer a fully self-service form of interaction with their doctor or hospital. This includes patient intake, digital check-ins, digital records, and click-to-pay options for their co-pays.

The assumption is that, with the staffing concerns the industry is facing, it will be cost-prohibitive to integrate these solutions if staff turnover continues at the current rate. The opposite is actually true: self-service options can help mitigate staffing situations, and even increase revenue with easy-to-use payment systems.

“What it comes down to is the fear of the unknown. If 70% of consumers embrace digital-first, how do I respond to the other 30% who do not? — Kristen Jacobsen”

Essentially, digital-first sounds like an aggressive strategy, shifting the model completely. Rather, it’s expanding the forms of communication that healthcare providers offer their patients.

Does digital-first mean that other methods of communication are going away?

Not at all. The earlier referenced omnichannel approach doesn’t mean digital-only is the model going forward. Although it is a misconception that older generations don’t like digital access, embracing an omnichannel method simply means that your organization has options.

If patient A prefers print, stick with that for them. Likewise, if patient B prefers email, switch to email-only for them. And if patient C prefers impersonal texting, use that method for that patient.

The point isn’t to eliminate all forms of communication except digital. Rather, it’s to offer digital as an option. Data is also the driving factor here. If a patient’s engagement with one form of communication doesn’t produce results, it’s likely another method will. Plus, with so many patients preferring a digital communication model, it means higher payment rates and increased revenue for providers. That data, based on user behavior, helps to tailor solutions to each patient.

So what is Persona Pay exactly?

Persona Pay is a hybrid model that uses traditional print communication in conjunction with digital options. Persona Pay is a completely frictionless method. When statements arrive in the mail, they contain a QR code. When scanned with a cell phone, the QR code redirects the patient to a web portal to finish paying their balance. If they store a card, it’s a completely seamless process.

“Persona Pay also includes data-driven financing options based on the predictive analytics that provide the patient with the best payment offer for their situation. — Kristen Jacobsen”

How can providers learn more?

Providers interested in learning more about the RevSpring model can visit RevSpringInc.com/healthcare. There, you can access articles, thought leadership, white papers, and a comprehensive breakdown of products and services.

They can also reach out to Keybridge directly, [email protected], to get answers to any pressing questions they may have.

RevCycleRundown.com to learn more about our live show and be alerted about future shows as well.
Helping providers with revenue cycle management is central to what we do here at Keybridge. To help facilitate open dialogue between industry experts and providers, we’re excited to look back at the first of many in our live show series, the Revenue Cycle Rundown. In the shifting world of healthcare consumerism, we felt it was important to answer the questions that both patients and providers are asking, utilizing the digital resources we’ve all come to embrace. We look forward to connecting with you in future sessions as we continue to cover the topics you want to know more about.