Good customer relationships are essential to the success of any ambulatory surgical center (ASC). This includes keeping both patients and referring physicians satisfied with the service provided. Putting customers first is essential to the growth of any ASC, and focusing on practices that improve customer satisfaction will enhance overall business operations. Begin using the following ASC best practice tips to improve customer satisfaction and gain repeat customers that will boost the profit margin of the center.

Tip #1 Focus on Effective Communication

To improve customer satisfaction, ASCs must focus on effective communication, not only with patients, but with referring physicians as well. Referring physicians want to work with ASCs that make referrals easy while offering top service for patients. Provide referring physicians with secure electronic communication and focus on treating them well. Using good communication techniques with referring physicians will lead to more referrals, improving overall profits.

Effective communication with patients is just as important as effective communication with physicians. Most patients today prefer communicating via the web. Providing patients with a patient portal makes it easy for each patient to communicate with an ASC. Patient portals also make it easy to provide patients with important instructions, such as appointment times, surgery arrival times and essential pre-op information.

Tip #2 Offer Better Billing Practices

Offering better billing practices helps ASCs improve customer satisfaction, but it also helps to increase profits and reduce losses. One of the most effective ASC best practices for ensuring better billing practices is to hire experts in both billing and coding. Consider outsourcing to billing and coding organizations that guarantee accurate billing and coding.

Better billing practices also involve offering options to patients. While many patients may have some kind of insurance, many will still be required to pay some amount of money out of pocket. Address the issue of payment before the surgical procedure, asking for a portion of the payment up front if possible. Offer options that make it easier for patients to pay.  Two great examples are abeo’s patient services department which make live calls to offer payment programs and their “Pay My Bill” patient portal for easy online payment. Train administrators to work with patients in a nonthreatening way, addressing billing issues without causing patients discomfort.

A defined collection policy that is easy for patients to understand is crucial. Working with patients to offer quick, easy payment options is important, but patients should also be notified of their responsibilities and provided with a collections policy, providing them with information on acceptable payments, what constitutes a past due payment and how collections will be handled.

Tip #3 Provide Price Transparency

Providing price transparency is another ASC best practice that can improve customer satisfaction for ASCs. Customers today desire transparency. By offering price transparency, an ASC can increase the likelihood of being chosen by an educated patient. ASCs should begin using tools that make it possible to predict surgical costs, while providing informed staff members that can consult with patients, helping them to understand what their insurance policy covers and the amount they may need to pay out of pocket.

Tip #4 Use Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Providing patients with patient satisfaction surveys is one of the easiest ASC best practice to implement and it offers excellent results. Each patient should be provided with a survey about their experience, allowing them to comment on their likes and dislikes. Offering patients these surveys makes patients feel that the center cares about their experience, improving customer satisfaction. These surveys can also be used to find areas that need work, making it easy to make changes that will improve customer satisfaction over time.

Customer satisfaction is crucial to the success of any business, so it is important for ASCs to embrace best practices that help increase customer satisfaction. Overall, most ambulatory surgical centers have proven to be quite successful, but focusing on improved customer satisfaction, both for patients and referring physicians, can improve success and profits further.

 

Written by Joy Burgess

Bio: Joy Burgess is a fulltime freelance writer with more than 12 years of writing experience. For more than six years, she has specialized in medical writing, drawing upon her previous medical experience in Emergency Care, Private Home Health Care and Geriatric Care.

 

abeo

abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.

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