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TransUnion Healthcare Survey Finds Consumers' Perception of Quality Care Correlates to Billing Experience

Patients With No Billing Issues Rate Care Higher; Utilize Non-Critical Treatments

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Apr 29, 2013) - A recent survey by TransUnion Healthcare of insured consumers found that those who had positive billing and payment experiences with their providers gave higher marks for care received than patients who had issues with their billing. The survey also found that consumers who experienced problems with healthcare billing used non-critical health services, such as regular check-ups and preventative cancer screenings, at a lower rate than consumers who did not experience negative billing issues.

"Our research suggests that patient experiences with billing and payment play a critical role in their overall assessments of providers, the quality of care they receive, and even their decision to seek certain types of care," said Milton Silva-Craig, President of TransUnion Healthcare. "As the healthcare market enters a period of unprecedented competition, it is imperative that providers consider all aspects of the patient experience and its impact on their position in the market. The results of this survey underscore that health providers need to recognize the impact of their patients' payment experiences as an important element in total customer satisfaction."

Nearly 70% of survey respondents who gave the highest ratings to their quality of care over the past two years also gave high ratings to their billing and payment experiences, compared to only 24% of those who gave low ratings to their quality of care. Similarly, 76% of those who gave high quality of care ratings also said they had a clear understanding of costs at least some of the time, compared to only 52% of those who gave low quality of care ratings.

Survey respondents also indicated that clarity of costs and billing are factors they consider in choosing care providers and insurance plans. Two-thirds (67%) said that receiving clear information on expected out-of-pocket costs before receiving treatment would have a positive impact on their decision to use a provider, and 65% said that clear, easy-to-understand bills would do the same. Sixty-one percent of respondents also reported that cost information at the point-of-service would positively impact their decision to seek non-critical care like preventative screenings and annual physicals. 

"We know from our work with providers across the country that a clear, transparent and surprise-free patient payment experience can have a significant positive impact on the revenue management cycle," said Silva-Craig. "These insights suggest that such experiences cannot be disregarded as factors in patients' overall assessment of care delivery. This consideration will be particularly important for hospitals and health systems as patient satisfaction ratings become key elements of government reimbursement formulas." 

In an effort to provide the healthcare industry with a smarter patient access process, TransUnion Healthcare recently launched ClearIQ. The exception-based automated decisioning platform provides, among other things, patient payment estimation, insurance eligibility and benefits verification information upfront, making a patient's first point of contact in a hospital faster, easier, more accurate and friendlier than ever. 

The integrated ClearIQ platform is driven by TransUnion's unequaled data assets and industry-leading eligibility and estimation functionality. Efficient and easy-to-use, ClearIQ provides healthcare providers with Intelligence in an Instant® -- the power to make informed, consistent patient access decisions at the point of service.

About the survey
The online survey included responses from more than 700 insured household decision-makers who had either personally received medical care, or had a family member on their policy receive care in the past two years. The survey took place from March 28 - 29, 2013.

TransUnion Healthcare
TransUnion Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of credit and information management company TransUnion, empowers providers and payers with Intelligence in an Instant® by providing data and analytics at the point of need. In the provider market, TransUnion offers a series of data solutions designed to move critical decision making to the front-end of the revenue cycle process. In the payer market, TransUnion offers healthcare analytics and reporting solutions to help payers meet their reporting needs, control costs and improve the overall health of their members. www.transunionhealthcare.com

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