The Importance of Physician and Patient Engagement for Molecular Diagnostic Market-Share Expansion

This blog is the second in our series covering the keys to success for market-share expansion in molecular diagnostics outlined in our recent whitepaper, “The Executive’s Guide to Molecular Diagnostic Market-Share Expansion”. If you missed the first blog in this series, find it here.

As more molecular diagnostic testing moves from physician offices and laboratories to the home, molecular diagnostics organizations need strategies and technology tools for achieving a deeper level of engagement with both physicians and consumers to maximize the volume of completed tests. Laboratories need to be able to easily engage with patients throughout their journey - from the order through specimen collection and return, delivery of results, and reimbursement. Having a patient communication platform that makes it simple to push timely, relevant, personalized messages to patients about such things as how to complete their at-home specimen collection and how to pay a bill is exceedingly important.

Laboratories need the ability to communicate with patients directly and influence their behavior from the time they become aware of the test, through the process of completing the test whether at the lab or by mailing the test back to the laboratory facility. Today there are valuable tools available that make it easy to engage and interact with patients. An effective patient engagement strategy deploys smart, automated messages to reach patients at the right time and through the right communication channel to maximize engagement. A patient portal with multi-channel communications is an important part of an effective engagement strategy. The portal combined with text messaging, interactive voice response (IVR), and email communications makes connecting with patients more effective. The information shared through these communications includes:

  • Data about the tests that their physician has ordered
  • Instructions or resources to support specimen collection
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • Any out-of-pocket expense estimates

An omni-channel communication approach enables laboratories to follow up with patients if test specimens are not returned and share the test results when they are available. Timely, relevant communication with patients helps ensure the end-to-end process is as seamless as possible so that the patient gets the diagnostic test they need and the revenue for services rendered is collected by the laboratory.

Utilizing an RCM solution that includes web services and a client portal to facilitate “two-way digital conversations” drives efficiency with ordering physicians and their staff as well. These types of capabilities make it easy to:

  • Look up test pricing
  • Provide medical necessity documentation
  • Understand and communicate the patient financial responsibility
  • Receive education about things like specimen prepping and collection

It is important for laboratories to help physicians use their staff’s time wisely and automate as many repetitive, administrative tasks as possible. A client portal using an electronic means of data exchange makes this easy. The client’s staff can log in and take care of any outstanding items, such as correcting errors, rather than having to field multiple phone inquiries as the laboratory seeks missing information so it can submit a clean claim. An investment in a robust RCM solution that allows capabilities to be extended to ordering physicians and their teams helps build strong relationships and loyalty.

Physician engagement strategies and technology tools are also valuable for educating physicians and their staff on the availability of new molecular testing, the applicability of new tests to their patient population, and ordering guidelines.

It is also important for laboratory leaders to keep in mind that electronic health record systems (EHRs) and other enterprise systems are designed for inpatient revenue cycle management and as a result, lack many of the sophisticated capabilities essential to optimizing the reimbursement for expensive, complex molecular diagnostics.

Molecular diagnostic laboratories that work with an EHR to gain test adoption and physician access should consider a purpose-built RCM system to take full advantage of the unique capabilities required to optimize the reimbursement received for every test performed. The additional cost as a percentage of revenue will be more than recouped through maximized reimbursement and physician and patient satisfaction.

An integrated RCM technology platform that enables patient and physician engagement is key to a molecular diagnostics organization’s ability to achieve market expansion and to gain and maintain a competitive edge. Learn precisely what’s needed to do so, by downloading our whitepaper today.

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Published by XiFin
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