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INTERVIEW: Boost Revenue By Meeting Patients Where They Are

Publish Date
Read Time
Ryan Carlson
September 30, 2021

In our video health data series, "Leaders in Leveraging Health Data", we chat with Joe Bhaimia, Vice President of Enterprise Sales and Channel Partnerships at Inbox Health.

Enhance patient satisfaction by improving the billing process.

There is a chance that your communication isn't reaching your patients the way they want. Do your best to care for the patient rather than taking care of billing issues and late payments by rethinking your billing process.


Quality Care Metrics: Improve Patient Care and Avoid EHR Burnout

Ryan Carlson:

 I'm Ryan Carlson with Healthjump And I'm here with Joe Bhaimia who is the vice president of enterprise sales and channel partnerships at Inbox Health So thank you so much for sitting down in this booth. to Talk about yourself, 

Joe Bhaimia: happy to be here. 

Ryan Carlson: What do they do? 

Joe Bhaimia: They do, uh, patient engagement, patient communication, and patient support um, primarily for the revenue cycle space in that target market. 

Ryan Carlson: So who would that target customer be? That you take a problem and make it go away? 

Joe Bhaimia: Think of billing companies, small, medium, or large. So anybody that's touching revenue cycle to some degree, and billing patients for that ever-growing patient responsibility that we're also aware of. We can help that post adjudication, patient communication, patient payment logic, and patient support.

So we're actually communicating with them in the channel that they prefer. 

Ryan Carlson: That's awesome. So, what is the main problem that they experience that you make go away? 

 Ballooning patient responsibilities that never get collected and the terrible patient experience that leads to. 

Ryan Carlson: Right. Like getting called and hassled. And so where do you see, what is it that you're doing that uniquely solves this problem to one improve the experience, but what's the, what's the success story look like? What does happy resolution? 

Joe Bhaimia: Happy resolution looks like a billing company.that's supporting, you know, anywhere from a hundred to 500 practices, they've got, six or seven disparate EHR and practice management systems that they're dealing with.

And they're not doing a really good job of collecting on patient responsibility. Their providers are telling them it's a bigger and bigger issue for them, but they still want to be able to deliver the right patient experience. That's still delightful and not turning patients over. So we take that problem and say, 'hey, we're going to integrate in an agnostic way to any of the EHR PM systems that are out there that you're supporting, we're going to build them and communicate to them'.

Omni-channel text message, email chat, things that you would expect to see in your personal life or through a Door Dash subscription. 

Ryan Carlson: So you're meeting them where they're at in their communication cycle. 

Joe Bhaimia: Absolutely. 

Ryan Carlson: So is it that you... does every patient then, are they effectively subscribing to how I pay my bills.

And how I wanna communicate about it, or what does that mean? 

Joe Bhaimia: Well, usually they're telling the practice hey I would like to get a text message or an email versus a paper statement and they know paper statements aren't doing the job at communicating effectively. I, myself being a patient, usually take that paper statement and either can't understand it or just throw it away.

But if you sent that to me digitally, and I had the opportunity to ask a question via text message. Not only are you communicating with me in the right, the right way, you're giving me the right experience. 

Ryan Carlson: Okay. I could actually, this is, this is the thing I got three kids and all this stuff, so I could send a message just like some of my online banking.

 I can send a text message and out of my online bank and get conflict resolution without having a, you are on hold for 45 minutes. When I can text, who is receiving this text message? Is that someone at Inbox Health, or is it the billing service themselves? 

Joe Bhaimia: We have both models, someone at Inbox Health can receive that.

Predominantly our billing company partners are staffing it themselves using our infrastructure layer to be able to, again, agnostically look at all their EHR systems and have a staff member be able to pull up a patient at any practice and any EHR PM system at anytime. 

Ryan Carlson: I imagine that there's all of the like round robin or call queuing, you know, just like you'd get in like a voice, phone system, right.

Joe Bhaimia: To some degree. Yes. But we've actually really just simplified the logic. We know billing companies, aren't in the business of call staff centers. they'd rather spend that time going after, uh, insurance responsible amounts and that's what we want them to do too. So instead we make it really easy. We pop up, you know, any of the relevant chats to the right representative at the right time.

Ryan Carlson: Cool. 

Joe Bhaimia: And enabled them to communicate, and, and resolve any of the issues that are happening, but also communicate back to the practice if necessary. 

Ryan Carlson: So my question is then, so if these are the pains, you make it go away, what is it that Inbox Health is doing, that's uniquely addressing these problems?

What is it that is the premium differentiator that, that you can only get through Inbox Health. 

Great question. 

Joe Bhaimia: I think it's, it's twofold. It's omni-channel communication, right? Finding the patient where they want to be communicated, uh, not having a gated portal that prevents them from actually making a payment without logging in.

We know patients don't know their patient portal logins. That's not the right experience. Let's eliminate that completely. And then the other side of it is supporting that. Right? You talked about being able to text message somebody in return.. What that would do for a bill you got from your child's pediatrician as do I?

Ryan Carlson: Yeah. 

Joe Bhaimia: If I could text and get the support in real time, rather than a six minute phone call with a 20 minute hold time, those are the two areas that we're really enabling and the revenue cycle space that, that make us stand apart. 

Ryan Carlson: So everyone wants to talk about the pandemic and if this were a drinking game, I wouldn't be giving interviews right now.

Joe Bhaimia: Sure. 

Ryan Carlson: But it's not. So I'm only drinking water, so we all win there. How has the pandemic, since what I found in healthcare is that it's exacerbating certain growing pains that we're already feeling. Yeah. So, which are the growing pains became screaming pains thatInbox Health has observed. And which of those have you risen to meet the challenge of?

Joe Bhaimia: So I think one thing we see, in the pandemic is, you know, a lot of telemedicine, right? So you've got your normal, uh, primary care providers, specialty provider that might've been delivering care in-office, and now is doing it via telemedicine, but they really haven't brought any sophistication to their patient communication process.

It's just that visit, everything else is still manual or on paper. Those two don't add up. We've seen that if we can communicate digitally. For patient communication, just like we are delivering care, again, better experience, better outcome, and more than likely the right patient retention. And that's something that we've definitely seen be exacerbated and we're solving today.

Ryan Carlson: One of the things that I, recognized in areas like what you're doing, you're automating and it's not webifying, digitizing creating tools that, that have, effective user experiences for someone like a billing service who's not an IT or software company right. I see more and more companies that have these new job responsibilities.

And now I'm my own IT, uh, I'm all my note. Like there's all these things that have nothing to do with processing and billing claims and getting to the bottom of things and like, yeah. So what has the response been of those that went, that didn't have Inbox Health? What was their experience before? And what is the feedback that you typically get?

Like, tell me, tell me what you hear from people that like. What do they say?

Joe Bhaimia: Their story now is typically, Hey, we're, increasing patient collection performance by 20 to 40 percent.

Um, we have a better patient experience. So if we're doing any customer satisfaction, patient satisfaction, those scores are going up and we are differentiating ourselves against other billing company competitors, or revenue cycle competitors, because we're doing something they don't, we're addressing a problem that our competitors are ignoring.

And therefore we're enabling the team to go out there and win more business. 

Ryan Carlson: What is the hardest part? Like, where do you see the most friction in supporting a diverse number of different practices? Right. And, and what are you doing to be accessible to so many different practices? 

Joe Bhaimia: Yeah, you're absolutely right.

Right. You called out the fact that the ambulatory space has a ton of challenge and disparity in it. There's a million and one EHR and PM systems, and there are different ways of delivering service that really, you know, make that world unique from acute or post-acute. what we're doing is saying, Hey, let's figure out a way to, to be agnostic.

We don't care what EHR system or practice management system you're using. We'll figure out a way to communicate with them. And what we're trying to do is, is make that world smaller to your point, by not requiring the same level of integration that the practice has to take on, on their own. If we can do that at a platform level, we really enabled their growth and ours as well.

Ryan Carlson: That's really exciting. So I, I'm excited to see the future of Inbox Health. As you guys continue to have this success story and make more billing companies get a focus on the billing and, and those numbers though, as far as like the increased collections is fantastic. I know it's a thankless job and now it there's a robot to help make it easier.

You know, I figure that's a lot easier. So, thank you so much for coming here and just talking about Inbox Health and sharing your story.

Joe Bhaimia: Thanks for having us, really great to be here.

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