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Patient Financial Communication Strategy


A large, multiple hospital system was having difficulty explaining outstanding balances to its patients. Communication was fragmented and confusing, leading to a significant rise in bad debt. With $700M in net patient revenue split between government programs and a commercial population, the system needed help.


Our consultants met with staff members and discussed gaps in the financial communication process. They embedded themselves into multiple departments of the revenue cycle, including ER, Pre-Service, Financial Counseling and Elective Services. After discussing findings with leadership, we created an entirely new financial communication direction, one focused on education rather than collection, to improve financial conversations both at the time of service and before. All financial counselor and registration staff were then trained to implement the new directive.


After implementing the new communication process, our client received immediate, positive feedback from patients and staff as HCAHPS Patient Satisfaction financial understanding scores increased 10%. Element consultants also established reporting metrics to enable leadership to track progress of new communication practices and completed an HFMA webinar that reinforced their best practice communication strategy.