SOURCE: Varolii

Varolii

November 09, 2010 09:30 ET

Varolii and MedDirect Launch Initiative to Improve Healthcare Patient Experience

Companies Introduce New Communications Model for Healthcare Billing; Program to Initially Reach 100,000 New Patients per Month

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - November 9, 2010) -  Varolii Corporation and MedDirect, Inc., today announced a healthcare initiative to improve communication, education and the overall clinical experience for patients that receive services from hospitals and physician organizations. The initiative is designed to strengthen patient relationships with healthcare providers, after services are rendered, while at the same time improving patient collections. Approximately 100,000 new patients a month are expected to initially participate in the program.

The two companies are introducing a communications model that applies technology to proactively reach patients -- such as answering questions about services performed and educating patients before an invoice is ever sent. With Varolii's technology, MedDirect also 'learns' and adapts communications based on individual patient preferences and interactions to deliver the right messages through the right communication channel (i.e. email, phone or text message) to the right person at the right time. The program will also offer patients new payment options that best meet their individual situations.

"We are introducing an initiative that's designed to refine patient communication, improve education and greatly enhance the patient's post-clinical experience. This approach involves skillfully engaging a diverse set of patients in a way that's highly personalized, respectful and easy to understand," said Gregory VandenBosch, President at MedDirect.

There is a fundamental change occurring within the healthcare industry that is rapidly shifting more of the financial responsibility for medical services to patients. This change presents a major provider challenge -- compared with health plan payments that generally arrive quickly and reliably, payments from patients require more work and often necessitate specialized software and staff.

The MedDirect and Varolii initiative has been designed to help patients navigate a complex healthcare reimbursement system. By deploying advanced multi-channel communications, Varolii technology enables MedDirect to better communicate with and educate its exceedingly diverse patient base in a cost-effective, supportive and personalized manner. And, by tracking individual communication channels, language and contact preferences from previous interactions, MedDirect is able to further refine the most effective way to reach and interact with each patient.

"Today's healthcare environment forces providers to create a better link between physicians and hospitals to their patients. We believe that the technologies being introduced by MedDirect and Varolii give patients more tools to better manage their relationships -- clinical, administrative and financial -- with providers," said John Pierson, senior vice president of global services at Varolii.

With Varolii's technology, patients will receive an automated call introducing the program very early in the billing process, providing a high level overview of the services available to them, alerting them to any critical pieces of missing account information and inquiring about any questions that they may have. If at any time a patient would like to speak with someone, they are immediately transferred to a live MedDirect service representative for assistance or to discuss payment options.

"This partnership helps support the advancement of our patient-centered medical home objectives. After all, shouldn't the principles of the 'advanced primary care practice' extend into the revenue cycle? We believe it should and that the partnership supports the model wonderfully," said Lori Whilden, Director of Care Transformation of Advantage Health / Saint Mary's Health Care, a Trinity Health facility and long-term MedDirect client.

MedDirect's approach recognizes that there's a major opportunity to improve outcomes and the overall patient experience at the same time. Many providers have grown accustomed to low patient-pay collection rates and extremely low patient satisfaction scores. However, industry research shows that, on average, over 70 percent of patients are both willing and able to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses under $1,000.

VandenBosch states, "The reason most healthcare organizations are falling far short of these types of results is because they're failing to address the fundamental reasons why patients don't pay -- poor communication and education, confusing invoices and limited payment options. Varolii technology allows us to address and overcome nearly every one of these barriers."

About Varolii Corporation
Varolii is the market and technology leader in smart, automated communications. Its on-demand communication solutions help organizations easily and effectively reach and interact with large numbers of customers and employees, reducing operational costs and improving service. Varolii provides the industry's only cross-channel communications technology, which blends voice, SMS and email into a single conversation and provides recipients with multiple options to take action. At the heart of the on-demand platform is Varolii ID™, which automatically analyzes each recipient's past responses to personalize future communications. With Varolii, organizations can execute true 1-to-1 communication on a large scale, achieving better results from fewer notifications. More than 380 companies trust Varolii to send over four million communications every business day. For more information, visit www.varolii.com.

About MedDirect
MedDirect is a patient services company delivering revenue cycle management services and advanced multi-channel custom communications to healthcare organizations. Our core mission is to increase patient-pay revenue, enhance the patient's pre and post-clinical experience, streamline operations and transform patients into well-informed and loyal customers. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, MedDirect serves physicians, hospitals and patients in 50 states. For more information, visit www.meddirect.net.

Contact Information

  • For more information:

    Robin Rees
    Varolii Corporation
    206-902-3944 (office)
    206-293-2910 (mobile)
    Email Contact

    Jessica Kendall
    Edelman PR
    206-268-2231 (office)
    210-859-6971 (mobile)
    Email Contact