2017 in Review
By Dan Moore, CEO
It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone! When I started RBS in 2004, it was never my intention to be the biggest player in the industry. It still isn’t. My goal, and the goal our entire team shares, is to reduce the financial anxiety for cancer patients and their caregivers… one family at a time.
I’d like to share an excerpt from a letter that was forwarded to us from one of our clients. The daughter of a cancer patient wrote to the facility about her experience with Carolyn, one of our RBS Patient Account Liaisons:
“I wanted to take a few minutes to extend my appreciation for all the assistance that Carolyn provided me while dealing with my Mom’s outstanding medical bills… I have dealt with several parties at many different medical offices and billing offices in the past few months, but Carolyn stands out to me as the most professional and courteous person through all of this.”
This letter, and the others we receive like it, exemplifies why we do what we do. I am grateful to Carolyn, and to all of our staff, for the care and compassion they show patients every day. I know that our people are truly our greatest asset and the heart of RBS; I am beyond gratified to share that we continued to grow our team this year. We also implemented a market adjustment to salaries to ensure that our staff is able to focus on their strengths: taking care of others with our extraordinary customer service.
If you’d like anotherterrific example of the “RBS Concierge Patient Experience” in action, read the article below about Shelia, who celebrated her 10th anniversary with RBS this year. We celebrated this important milestone with Shelia last week and I know you’ll enjoy hearing her story.
Our cancer centers (Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center in Soldotna, AK; Southeast Radiation Oncology Center in Juneau, AK; and Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center in Elko, NV) have had a busy year as well. Collectively they treated over 171 patients this year – that’s 171 families who were able to receive their radiation treatments close to home!
For our patients in Alaska who live a little further away from our centers, we are grateful to have been able to provide a home away from home. Our patient house in Juneau was utilized by 8 families in 2017, who were able to stay at the house during their treatment. This year we opened a Patient House in Soldotna, Alaska, as well, and we have already hosted several families.
In closing, we have much to be grateful for this year. I’d like to thank each one of our physician partners, clients, and especially the patients that we work with every day for making 2017 a special year at RBS. We are thankful for the relationships that we have garnered in this industry, and for the opportunities that we have been given to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.
Here’s to a great 2018! From the RBS family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays.
The Forgotten Aspect of the Patient Experience
By Melissa Barber, Billing Manager
At Radiation Business Solutions, my staff and I have the opportunity to help patients and caregivers navigate confusing medical bills. I know how our team operates. Our culture and mission drive us to deliver the best customer service to every patient that we contact. I am extremely proud of our company’s approach in handling what is a very sensitive subject matter for patients.
Recently, I was on the other side of the phone, as a healthcare consumer with a high deductible plan. That really gave me a chance to see how “other” providers and, as an extension of their practice, billing offices handle patient balances and collections.
I received an automated phone call at my home that supplied me with prompts for servicing my call. The computer-generated voice said that I, as the recipient of the call, was required to press the numeric option that best suited my need. Interesting. I didn’t realize that I had a need. After all, they called me.
After I selected the option to speak with a representative (because that is how I like to handle all of my business: one on one, human to human, not patient to Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system), I heard the sound of a billing representative’s voice.
It was not the pleasant voice of someone who understood that I recently took my daughter to the emergency room for treatment of a heart condition. It was the well-rehearsed voice of a “human-robot” reading from a script to ensure that I would pay my bill during that call or shortly thereafter by mailing payment in full.
I should have just opted for the IVR. At least I don’t expect any emotion or empathy from a computer-generated voice.
At RBS, we believe that patients deserve the utmost respect and understanding as they face some of the most critical days of their lives. We strive to deliver premium, personal customer service in a world where many companies view every “customer” as a transaction.
Unfortunately, what so many providers do not realize is that the billing of services is equally as important to overall patient satisfaction as the clinical service itself. So many patients who are happy with their healthcare are not equally as happy with the patient billing process.
Our approach is different. We find that the most successful transactions with patients are those that leave them informed, supported and satisfied. Below, I have included a few key ideas that support us in that mission.
- Always have a live person answer incoming calls.
- Call all patients prior to statement generation to introduce their dedicated billing representative.
- Provide estimates of total out-of-pocket costs.
- Maintain open communication with patients regarding the status of their health insurance claims and pending bills for deductibles and coinsurance.
- Follow up with a handwritten note to patients after final bill is sent.
- Most importantly, listen. Make sure your patients know that you care.
In this day and age, a negative encounter regarding patient statements can ultimately leave a practice and provider with negative reviews and satisfaction surveys, regardless of the clinical effectiveness of the service.
You and your staff work hard to provide your patients with an exceptional clinical experience. Don’t leave their financial experience to a “human robot.” Contact us today to learn how RBS can help your practice, and your patients.
If you’ve ever called the main number at RBS, there’s a good chance that you’ve talked to Shelia, our Patient Account Representative. Shelia’s sweet southern voice has been answering the phones and assisting patients with billing questions for TEN years! We recently asked Shelia about her experience at RBS.
What’s the best part of your job?
“I love talking to our patients. I believe that you have to treat everyone the way you would want your own family member to be treated. I listen to the patients’ concerns, and I assure them that we’re going to do everything we can to make the financial part of things easier. Whatever it takes, we’re going to work it out.”
Do any patients in particular stand out in your memory?
“One of our clients had a patient on a payment plan who could only afford to pay a few dollars every month. She liked to call me personally to make her payments, so we’ve talked a lot over the years and became pretty friendly. She recently sent me the sweetest note along with her ‘five year survivor’ picture. That was really special.”
What changes have you seen in your ten years at RBS?
“The biggest change was moving into our new building a few years ago. Our first office was a tiny house in Pleasant View, Tennessee, with five rooms and one small bathroom; we all got to know each other very well!”
Shelia and her husband, Joey, have been married for 42 years. When they are not traveling or spending time with their three children, Shelia likes to cook (and often shares her creations with her lucky coworkers!).
In appreciation for her ten years of service, RBS is sending Shelia and Joey on a well-deserved Hawaiian vacation! Aloha, Shelia, and thank you for all you do!
Connect us with an oncology program that wants to grow! We’ll pay a $10,000 referral bonus (or a donation to your favorite charity) for new clients that enter a contract with us for billing services, Market Track referral optimization program, or a Revenue Navigator program. For more information contact us at Info@RadiationBusiness.com or call 615-746-1705.
Radiation Business Solutions creates value for oncology programs, while creating a better financial experience for cancer patients. Since 2004, we’ve provided oncology-specific strategies to physicians and hospital based programs, including total revenue cycle management, patient experience programs, referral optimization services, and new cancer center development.