Beyond simple profitability, a great health plan will always seek to improve provider satisfaction levels. Over the last several years, provider satisfaction levels have skyrocketed. It’s no longer just a nice bonus to have high satisfaction levels – it’s required to beat the competition.
Also, provider satisfaction levels are a significant metric of the overall success of your health plan, and many CEOs and CFOs have begun implementing goal-driven improvement metrics to help their companies improve.
While putting together a list of initiatives designed to improve satisfaction rates can work in the short term, these plans fall short in the long term because they are reactive, not proactive. In this article, we’ll look at proactive ways to build continuous improvement into your corporate culture – not just into your end-of-year objectives.
Genuine improvement always starts at the top
Executive commitment is key to improving the provider satisfaction levels of a healthcare plan.
Employees notice if executive teams are not actively involved in daily improvement processes – and if your executive team is not making active efforts to improve provider satisfaction levels, your employees will not be adequately motivated.
By creating an executive team dedicated to improving your satisfaction levels, you can provide top-down strategic and organizational capabilities to employees. They will see that you are devoted to your strategic goals and that you are willing to “walk the walk” and work to make your vision a reality.
You must objectively assess your data
Data is king when it comes to improving provider satisfaction levels. If you don’t have a clear, objective picture of your data, how can you expect to measure your customer satisfaction levels?
Your organization has access to more data now than ever before – over 90 percent of all existing data has been generated in the last six years. Use it. Put together a comprehensive picture of your important metrics – survey data, internal data, call center feedback and complaints, grievances, and any other form of data you have access to.
Start by objectively assessing your data.
Four more keys to improving satisfaction levels
Be bold and take risks – Truly dedicating yourself to the improvement of your customers’ satisfaction levels will not be easy. You will have to think outside of the box and spend a lot of time ideating to come up with smart strategic solutions.
Input from everyone on your executive team is valuable, and no idea is too crazy. If you think that you have an excellent idea that will help improve satisfaction levels, explore it thoroughly, it could be the perfect solution for your needs.
Don’t just know your customers—Understand them – You can’t just “know” your customers. You have to totally put yourself in their shoes, whether they’re health providers or employers using your services.
Understand that you’re too close to your company for an objective perspective on your services. You’ll be inherently biased, and may be blind to a simple solution due to this proximity. So take some time to truly get to know your customers, their needs, and how you can improve your services.
Understand that you provide a resource-based service – Great health plans serve as resources for their clients. You exist not just to collect and issue payments – but to support physicians, medical staff, patients, and employers so that they can perform their jobs well.
By having a robust informational resource plan available, providers can be extremely helpful at increasing your health plan’s ability to provide knowledge and resources, which will lead to increased satisfaction levels – they will have every resource they need to understand your policies, procedures, and plans.
Never stop improving – Your commitment to improving satisfaction rates should not be a static goal. Have you achieved 85% satisfaction from providers? Great! Get it to 90%. Then 95%. Aim for 100%. You should keep improving your service and revising your goals. Then you will help your company excel at every level of your organization, from the C-suite downward.
How streamlining payment processes can help improve satisfaction rates
One of the biggest complaints about health plans from providers is inefficiency. Healthcare is incredibly complex. All of the different parties involved in payment systems can often lead to slow payments and an overall inefficient system.
However, there is a simple solution. Deluxe eChecks offers comprehensive services to health plan companies and can increase the satisfaction of providers by reducing check processing time by as much as 70%, according to a 2015 Accenture analysis.
In addition, Deluxe eChecks is the only payment method that allows providers to receive their checks and EOP/ANSI 835 electronically, simultaneously, and with no added fees.
So if you’re looking to increase provider satisfaction levels, start with Deluxe eChecks Medical, and see how a better payment system can revamp your company.