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News | June 24, 2019

UPMC Pinnacle Revenue Cycle Team Creates Positive Patient Financial Experience

A Focus on Patient Engagement Enhances Satisfaction and Financial Performance

Harrisburg, Penn., June 24, 2019 – UPMC Pinnacle has undergone significant operational changes, including overhauling its revenue cycle IT system and adding new facilities throughout south central Pennsylvania. In September 2017, the health system joined UPMC. Throughout UPMC Pinnacle’s history, the Revenue Cycle team continues to deliver a positive financial experience for patients.

“Well before the concept of health care consumerism became a priority for our industry, we were engaging patients in a positive way to help them understand their health care costs and provide appropriate payment options,” says Patrice Taleff, System VP of Revenue Cycle.

The organization has embraced the idea of price transparency, posting standard charges on its website. UPMC Pinnacle also enables patients to get cost estimates, explore financial assistance and other financing options, contact a financial counselor and pay bills online. The tactics are part of a comprehensive strategy for the patient’s financial experience that keeps UPMC Pinnacle top-of-mind in a competitive market.

“Offering the highest quality experience for patients goes beyond exceptional care,” Taleff says. “Today consumers weigh affordability and convenience equally with quality care outcomes. It is important to differentiate oneself in multiple ways as each health system in our area seeks new ways to appeal to patients as retail consumers.”

For its part, the UPMC Pinnacle Revenue Cycle team focuses on the financial experience as a way to support patient care. It’s a strategy that works well, especially for patients who need long-term financing to cover their out-of-pocket medical costs. According to a survey of UPMC Pinnacle patients who use long-term financing, nearly 60 percent use the payment option for two or more procedures at UPMC Pinnacle. Ninety-four percent of patients surveyed will return to UPMC Pinnacle and 90 percent will refer family and friends.

In addition to improving patient satisfaction and creating loyal consumers, UPMC Pinnacle uses patient financing to bolster overall financial performance. With it, the Revenue Cycle team has steadily reduced patient pay bad debt. Ninety-four percent of patients repay their long-term financing accounts in full, preventing millions in bad debt write-offs each year, while also decreasing days in AR.

UPMC Pinnacle’s financial and patient satisfaction metrics set a high bar for patient pay. UPMC Pinnacle has been named a Top Performer by patient financing service provider ClearBalance®, in conjunction with the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). Based on the ClearBalance Value Model™, a HFMA Peer Reviewed tool to measure patient financing performance, UPMC Pinnacle achieved 416 percent return on investment in 2018. UPMC Pinnacle’s performance was the highest ROI among more than 40 national, regional and local health systems participating in the annual patient financing performance contest. UPMC Pinnacle will be among several health systems recognized by ClearBalance for patient pay performance during the HFMA annual conference, June 24 in Orlando.

About UPMC Pinnacle

The UPMC Pinnacle health system includes seven acute care hospitals with 1,160 licensed beds, over 160 outpatient clinics and ancillary facilities, more than 2,900 physicians and allied health professionals, and approximately 11,000 employees. It is a health care hub serving Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Juniata, Franklin, Adams and parts of Snyder counties.

About ClearBalance

ClearBalance has been at the forefront of patient pay management since 1992, setting and delivering a high bar for patient financing solutions, patient reimbursement, revenue cycle IT expertise and the consumer experience. The ClearBalance program features the only HFMA Peer Reviewed ROI Value Model, which identifies a providers’ cost to collect patient pay and sets nationally recognized benchmarks for a long-term financing alternative.

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