In the ever-changing world of healthcare, we’ve seen several new trends emerging when it comes to how patients pay their medical bills and how providers process and collect these payments. For example, according to a recent survey published in Becker’s ASC Review, more than 95 percent of patients said they’d pay online if given the option. Healthcare providers who take action on trends like this are better positioned for success.
Not sure where to start? Here are three ways to act on the latest healthcare payment trends:
1. Give patients seamless options to pay their bills
Advancements in technology continue to change the way hospitals interact with patients and their finances. Nine out of 10 hospitals reported traditional collection solutions are negatively impacting profit margins. Providers must look for innovative, seamless solutions for patients to pay their bills. Integrating payment processing technology with patient portals, such as MyChart and Allscripts, and electronic health records, like Epic and MEDITECH, provides patients with the option to pay their bills online and makes the collection process more seamless.
2. Ensure your digital and mobile payment offerings are secure
In today’s digital world, consumers are used to having the world at their fingertips and receiving instant feedback. The same goes for healthcare payments. In the first half of last year, 62 percent of medical bills were paid online, and seven out of 10 patients said mobile pay and billing alerts improved their satisfaction with a provider. With online and mobile payments becoming consumers’ preferred option, it’s important to ensure that the technology being used to offer these services is safe and secure. Implementing solutions with a “security-first” mindset, such as advanced security packages, will help prevent data breaches (another emerging trend in the healthcare world) and keep patients’ financial information secure.
3. Streamline the reconciliation process and cut costs
Rising healthcare costs was a hot topic in 2017, and it isn’t just impacting consumers. The top challenge for 83 percent of physician practices is slow payment of high-deductible plans. As patients face higher co-pays and deductibles, providers’ collection and reconciliation process often becomes more time-consuming and expensive. Look to streamline your reconciliation process and remove costs by simplifying your payment options. A key to streamline both processes is consolidating your payment processing technology into a single platform. By making it easier for patients to pay, payments will be made faster and staff will spend less time with billing related questions.
Listen to your consumers and look at your payment processing systems to find ways you can improve with the latest healthcare payment trends. Maybe it’s adding the option of mobile pay or an online portal, maybe it’s integrating your payment processing technology with your EHR. Whatever it may be, Wind River Financial can provide the expertise for a customized solution that fits your health system.