Healthcare Providers: Embrace the Patient Payment Portal Opportunity

Have you had concerns lately that you are missing the opportunity to collect the patient’s portion of medical expenses?

Sure, this often-missed opportunity in the healthcare industry requires the back office to use numerous billing statements (and sometimes follow-up calls) to collect the patient’s portion of the bill. However, with increasing patient financial responsibility associated with higher deductible health plans, providers today increasingly must find ways to reduce overhead in the back office.

In fact, according to the 2013 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report, nearly 79 percent of patients pay their non-healthcare bills online. In numerous other industries, online payment portals include features that make the payment experience convenient.

Today’s patients expect a similar experience when paying healthcare bills online. With online payment portals in place, today’s providers can make it easy for patients to pay for their visit without requiring back office resources to collect.

How Does It Work?

Through online payment portals, patients have the option to create an account. Patients can then opt for paperless eStatements, view payment history, set up automated payment plans and save payment information for efficient future payments.

Having these options and features appeals to the different needs and personal preferences of various patients, ultimately leading to a positive online payment experience.

Driving Adoption

Simply offering the option for online payments is not always enough to get patients to utilize this payment method. First, you must work to increase patient awareness about online payments, ensuring they know where and how to pay online.

Providers should consider putting in place regular communication channels to increase awareness about online payments, encouraging patients to pay in this method. For example, when a patient receives a statement, the URL to pay online should be prominently displayed. Additionally, signage throughout the health facility, including waiting rooms, registration and checkout areas, should include the online payment URL to promote the online payment option

Other tips that may work for providers are to add a message about online payments in monthly or quarterly newsletters, appointment cards and email signatures. Basically, the more communication, the better.

Online payments have become more and more common as healthcare continues to evolve, but providers need to ensure that they are maximizing the value of an online payment tool by ensuring that it effectively streamlines their processes and results in a higher volume of patient payments.

BillingTree’s Payrazr payment portals enable businesses to securely accept credit, debit, eCheck and ACH payments, and can store invoices, manage customer accounts and payment history. From simple web payment forms to full featured with archived invoicing and payment history, Payrazr payment portals have your practice’s customized web payment needs covered.