In the old days, providers did not have to worry about the bottom line if patients couldn’t handle their financial contribution or took longer to pay. That’s all changing rapidly. Patients are becoming the new payers, and many are struggling to keep up with their portion of the costs.
Since 2015, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs have climbed 29%.1 As a result, 82% of physicians and 92% of hospitals are seeking more technologically advanced methods to process and reconcile bills.2
However, all the technology in the world won’t help if patients are not paying consistently, on time… or at all. If providers want to ensure collection of payments, they must start by making it easy and convenient for patients to make their payments.
To meet a range of diverse needs, providers will need to create a payment strategy that incorporates multiple payment options beyond checks and credit cards. Here are three suggestions:
- Provide online payment options. In a survey of healthcare providers and consumers, 95% of consumers said they would prefer to pay their healthcare bills online.3 At the same time, though, the survey showed that only 20% of providers had set up processes to collect payments electronically.4
- Offer payment plan options. Patients struggling to keep up with increasing healthcare bills may avoid paying altogether if they cannot pay their fee in full at the time services are rendered. If they know upfront that they can set up payment plans on a schedule that works for them financially, they may be less likely to require collections activity.
- Help patients understand their financial responsibility. Now that patients pay a greater share of the costs, they seek patient-centered financial experiences that offer transparency to them about their share of the costs. Offering an online financial account where patients can go, not only to pay, but also to access their electronic invoices and EOBs, can give them the help they need while providing a supportive payment experience.
Keep it Positive
Providers are faced with the same challenge as health plans – the need to provide positive experiences to keep patients coming back. The payments experience is the fulcrum for the overall experience. If it is negative, then the whole experience is negative.
Now that patients are shopping and comparing healthcare services and prices, one powerful way that providers can keep their practices strong and thriving is to offer a positive payments experience.
Like health plans, providers are behind the curve with being able to offer the kind of flexible payment options that consumers have come to expect when making purchases, but Payspan can change that easily and affordably.
Payspan’s suite of payment solutions is easy for providers to install and implement in their practices.