Omnichannel Healthcare Payments – Convenience for Patients and for Practices
Is your practice struggling to maintain an adequate cash flow? It’s an increasing problem among healthcare providers. The recent changes to the healthcare system have led to rapid changes across the medical sector. As a result, practices nationwide are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. One of the areas in which change has been extensive is healthcare payments.
Until relatively recently, healthcare organizations were relying heavily on insurance companies to cover the costs of payments. It was standard practice to simply submit claims to a patient’s insurance company and wait for the payment to arrive. However, now there are higher deductibles and a changing climate with regard to insurance coverage. Patients are suddenly responsible for a much larger portion of their care costs. This has come as a shock, not only to the patients but also to practices. The way in which practices have traditionally collected payments has proven to be inadequate to meet the new challenges.
Moving with The Times
Practices that have failed to adapt to the changes are experiencing major difficulties. Eliciting payments from patients who are already financially strapped is a real challenge. Nevertheless, it’s a challenge practices must meet if they are to stay afloat in these demanding times. The key to success lies in making the payment experience as painless as possible for patients.
Practices that are still relying on the old cash or check methods are lagging far behind. Patients are already unwilling to pay such large sums for their healthcare. The idea of having to inconvenience themselves by writing and mailing a check makes paying even more off-putting. Patients often don’t have enough money immediately available in their account to cover such high sums. They, therefore, have to work out how they can transfer funds between accounts. Adding extra levels of complication to the payment system simply deters patients from making payments on time. Delays are inevitable, and those delays can severely affect a practice that needs a steady cash flow.
The Problems of Cash Flow
Without a constant stream of cash flowing into a practice, it’s difficult to cover the costs of running it. There are significant overheads involved in keeping any medical practice running. Practices need to pay for equipment, utilities, rental of the premises and, of course, staff wages. This becomes increasingly difficult if patients fail to pay on time. As the cash flow dries up, the practice must economize in different areas. Eventually, this is going to affect patient care. Then, patients will look elsewhere for their treatments. It’s a vicious and ongoing cycle.
Luckily, many practices have found that a solution lies in the form of adopting an omnichannel healthcare payments solution.
What Is an Omnichannel Solution?
Omnichannel payment solutions enable a practice to accept several forms of payment through one processing platform. Patients can make payments online, by telephone, in the practice itself or even with their smartphones. With recurring billing and electronic bill presentment options included in the platform, it’s a fully comprehensive solution. Omnichannel payments allow practices to meet the needs of their patients while giving them more control over their own payments.
Making Payments Online
More patients these days are used to paying online for a wide range of goods and services. They want the same convenience when paying for their treatments. When practices accept online payments, they are allowing patients to choose their preferred payment methods. They can use their preferred credit cards or make FSA, HSA or ACH payments. They can also pay at any time of the night or day to suit their own needs. This flexibility guarantees your practice receives more money in a timely manner.
Making Mobile a Telephone Payments
Not only can patients pay through online portals using their laptops or PCs, but they can also pay via their smartphones. Even better, they can pay via SMS payments, which adds an extra layer of convenience. An omnichannel solution also includes IVR systems. Interactive voice response solutions allow patients to pay over the telephone through automated payment systems. For patients who lack technological experience, such as the elderly or those with special needs, this is a brilliant option. Simple to use and extremely convenient, it enables patients to pay at a time that suits them.
Paying in Practice
Some patients will still prefer to make payments in person at the practice’s front desk. Of course, this still remains a viable option. Patients can pay with cash or a check if they prefer. However, they will also be able to use their credit or debit cards.
Choosing the Right Company for Payment Processing
It’s important to select a reliable payment processing company that can offer your practice the omnichannel solution it needs. BillingTree specializes in offering effective healthcare payments solutions to meet the specific needs of practices. By adopting our fully integrated and compliant solutions, your practice can keep cash flowing.