The Surprising Effect of Healthcare Technology on Patient Payments
Consumers are accustomed to technology assisting their everyday lives. As many service providers turn to the internet for help in basic business functions like ordering and payment collections, consumers are beginning to expect this technology across all industries. Although the technology adaption rate in healthcare is surprisingly low compared to other industries (falling behind retail, hospitality, and banking), those who are ahead of the curve in medical technology adaption reap a variety of benefits.
One of the most important, yet simple areas healthcare systems can implement updated technology is in their payment collection systems.
Patient Satisfaction is Down
Patients are responsible for increasing amounts of their healthcare services. In fact, the amount left for patients to pay after applied insurance has increased 88% from 2012–2017, and isn’t slowing down any time soon. With patients owing so much, collecting full payments in a timely manner is becoming simultaneously more important and more difficult.
One of the easiest ways to combat low collections is to provide patients with the technology they seek to make payments. According to the Trends in Healthcare Payments Eighth Annual Report:
- 71 percent of patients would prefer to pay their bills in one place.
- 80 percent of patients want to pay via their own secure mobile devices.
- 65 percent said they’d be open to downloading a new mobile app to pay their bills.
- 72 percent of consumers are confused by their explanation of benefits (EOBs).
- 70 percent are confused by medical bills.
- 65 percent of consumers would consider switching healthcare providers for a better healthcare payments experience.
Patients clearly feel as if their needs are not being met when it comes to paying for their medical services. As a healthcare system, you must consider these wants and needs in order to increase your own revenues.
“When patients aren’t paying, they’re already communicating strongly to you, in very real terms, that there’s a problem.”
Kevin Fleming, CEO of Loyale Healthcare
Patient Payment Options
So what payment options are now readily available for practice adoption?
- Mobile Payments
- Patient Portals
- QR Code scans
- Snap to Pay
- Credit Card on File (CCOF)
These options impress a variety of patients ranging from tech-savvy millennials to baby boomers. Simply providing an increased assortment of patient payment options heightens the likelihood of appealing to the wants and needs of all patients served.
In doing so, you are also increasing the chances of collecting complete and timely payments.
Use a Third-Party Vendor
The idea of successfully implementing this technology may seem daunting, especially if paired with the many other to-do items on your practice’s list. If this is the case for your system, consider partnering with a third-party payment vendor who can seamlessly integrate your existing systems with these technology-advanced payment options.
Not only does the expertise of a third-party vendor simplify the process for your practice, but they can add other benefits to your technology systems like increased security measures in place to protect sensitive patient health information.
Michael Bell is the Chief Marketing Officer for MailMyStatements. Mike is a dynamic, innovative thinker, a healthcare technology advocate, a consumer, a patient, and an avid golfer.
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