Tracking and Improvement
My experience working with provider organizations has shown me that any process improvement initiative must have clear objectives, executive and board sponsorship, buy-in from staff, a means of tracking activities and a feedback process for measuring results. If we apply these to an ASC quoting process, the following would make worthwhile goals:
- All prospective patients, regardless of insurance, will be provided with cost information in an understandable format, in advance of scheduling or treatment.
- Engage affiliated provider organizations in this process, hopefully finding champions willing to support objectives. Share information with them proactively and retroactively.
- Establish a system of tracking the quotes produced and communications with patients.
- Measure improvements in financial or patient loyalty metrics and anecdotal feedback and stories.
- Meet periodically to review results and improve processes as well as recognize and celebrate successes.
Through the development of a quoting program, ASCs can take a leadership role in their local markets by establishing cost transparency while providing patients with a better financial experience. This could result in improved patient and surgeon loyalty, increased case volume, improved financial results and compliance with consumer protection laws. Change presents opportunity, and higher patient financial responsibility is likely here to stay. ASCs need to adapt accordingly.
The advice and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion.