Keck Hospital of USC has been nationally recognized for consistently providing high-quality customer service and financial communications to patients.

The award — the National Recognition for Excellence in Financial Interactions with Patients — is given by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and recognizes best practices to strengthen communications with patients about often-complex financial matters.

“For most of our patients, the last thing they want to deal with is the financial aspect of their care,” said Randy Ray, associate administrator of revenue cycle services, Keck Medicine of USC. “But our priority is helping patients understand what their options are.”

To make sure that communications with patients around financial matters were both appropriate and accurate, the hospital launched a new customer service division for financial services in August 2016, bringing crucial services to Keck Medical Center of USC that were once performed 3,000 miles away in a call center in New Jersey

The goal of the Keck Medicine Financial Services Division is to simplify the financial collection process and make it more understandable for patients through concise, friendly communications, Ray said.

“Our team partners with each patient to help them understand the financial aspects of their care and how to meet their obligations through a number of options, including payment plans, financial assistance and discounts,” he explained.

A total of 12 Keck Medicine customer service representatives and management employees demonstrated close to 100 best practices for financial interactions that take place in a variety of care settings, according to HFMA president and CEO Joseph J. Fifer.

“When people are dealing with health issues, they should be focusing on their health, not trying to decipher confusing financial information,” Fifer said. “Keck Hospital of USC has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that patients have a good experience when it comes to the financial aspects of their care.”

— Douglas Morino