Today’s healthcare consumers are paying more both for health coverage premiums and medical services themselves. Americans are spending roughly double on average per person for their healthcare compared with similar countries. Nevertheless, 75 percent of U.S. citizens believe they are not getting a good value for the amount they are spending. The industry shouldn’t overlook patients’ healthcare experiences any longer. So, what steps can a healthcare provider take to engage more effectively with its patients? Healthcare payment solutions have a key role to play in creating that improved patient experience.
Medical Bill Confusion
The healthcare industry is confusing. Only 9 percent of patients are able to work out their plan premium, coinsurance, deductible, and maximum out-of-pocket payments. It’s no wonder, then, that so many consumers feel their healthcare isn’t delivering a good value. More customers are afraid of the cost of getting ill than of the illness itself.
The process of payment and billing is particularly confusing. After visiting his or her healthcare provider, the consumer will usually receive a health plan EOB. While this looks very similar to a bill, it isn’t one. It comes as no surprise that patients become even more confused after receiving their healthcare provider’s bill. This is usually received weeks or even months after their visit.
How can the industry improve this? Better patient statements that communicate clearly the amount owed and clear instructions about payment are vital. When the patient understands the amount he or she owes and the ways he or she can pay, there is no confusion. Sixty-five percent of patients have expressed an interest in changing providers if they could get a better healthcare payment solutions experience. That’s something that all providers should keep in mind when it comes to their own payment solutions.
About 80 Percent Of Patients Don’t Want To Use Checks
While 79 percent of patients receive paper medical bills, only 21 percent want to pay for their treatments with a paper check. This just goes to show that paper billing isn’t working anymore. It is this reliance on outdated billing methods that causes 73 percent of healthcare providers to take over a month to collect. Manual processing causes delays of months or weeks while electronic healthcare payment solutions could take merely days or even hours.
An online healthcare payment system allows providers to offer their patients convenient payment experiences. Sixty-three percent of people make regular online payments for utilities and other services. Why are healthcare companies not following suit? Online payment providers give consumers the chance to use their preferred methods of payment. They can set up payment plans, make automatic payments, and use the card of their choice. They can also pay via the Internet or IVR system at the time and place of their choice. For the providers, this frees up time and ensures they receive more payments on time and in full.
Mobile Check-in Experiences
Eighty percent of patients have expressed an interest in checking in for their healthcare appointments on their secure mobile devices. Mobile check-in experiences enable patients to use their smartphones without waiting in line. They can also see their benefits information, pay outstanding balances and co-pays, and register for automatic payments.
Engaging more effectively with patients isn’t all about making paying for healthcare bills easier. It’s also about optimizing patient touchpoints. BillingTree’s healthcare payment solutions are secure, streamlined, and efficient. By removing barriers to payments, healthcare providers can receive more money on time – a major improvement on the existing system. Meanwhile, patients can enjoy the benefits of a more convenient and simple way to pay. The advantages are clear for both parties.