Hennepin Healthcare recently became an Adopter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s PATIENT FINANCIAL COMMUNICATIONS BEST PRACTICES®. As a Best Practices Adopter, Hennepin Healthcare demonstrated that it follows nearly 100 best practices covering all aspects of financial interactions that take place in a variety of care settings.
“We’ve always made it a priority to treat patients with respect and compassion, and that includes during financial conversations,” explains Derrick Hollings, Chief Financial Officer at Hennepin Healthcare. “In a time when patients are paying more out-of-pocket for their health care, attention to these conversations have never been more important. We have taken many steps to ensure that our processes carefully incorporate our mission and values, and this recognition confirms our work.”
No matter the medical care a patient needs – whether it’s trauma care after a medical crisis or ongoing care for a chronic condition – those financial conversations deserve clarity and respect for each and every patient.
“Patients and their families have already been through a difficult health experience, so we want to help them navigate the billing process professionally and with dignity, focusing first on their health care needs,” said Hollings.
To achieve this recognition, Hennepin Healthcare demonstrated ways in which compassion, patient advocacy, and an emphasis on patient education are part of all interactions they have with patients. For example, the availability of supportive financial assistance is communicated to patients—they don’t even have to ask.
“Our financial assistance policies are also made available to the community,” continues Hollings. “In addition, we take steps to ensure that patient privacy is respected and that all financial conversations are conducted in a way that is sensitive to the patient’s needs. These are just a few of the many important areas that are covered in annual customer service training received by all team members who engage in patient financial discussions.”
“When people are dealing with health issues, they should be focusing on their health, not trying to decipher confusing financial information,” said HFMA president and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, in learning of the award. “Hennepin Healthcare has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that patients have a good experience when it comes to the financial aspects of their care.”
Hennepin Healthcare joins a select group of hospitals, health systems, and physician practices that have received this first-of-its-kind, national recognition. A blue-ribbon task force developed these best practices to help improve communication between healthcare providers and consumers about financial matters. The task force included representatives from major industry groups, including the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the National Patient Advocate Foundation, among others. More information is available at hfma.org/dollars.