How Can Patient Satisfaction Be Improved with Automated Payments?

How Can Patient Satisfaction Be Improved with Automated Payments?

Digital transformation has changed your patients into “customers” and evolved their expectations. Many of these people are paying a larger portion of their medical bills, and they expect practices to treat them similarly as in other industries, such as retail. However, many practices aren’t aware of the number of patients struggling with poor experiences. 

Research found that 81% of consumers are unsatisfied with their practice experience. What’s more is that while 63% of practices believe they are delivering on patient care, only 43% of patients agree. 

Practices that view patients as customers are in a unique position to attract more patients and provide a more positive experience — and one critical area for improvement is the patient experience. 

Patients want to spend less energy on medical bills 

Patients are becoming increasingly frustrated with their medical bills. A recent report titled “The State of Medical Bill Confusion” found that 72% of consumers have received a medical bill they don’t understand and 94% have received a medical bill they believed was “too expensive.” 

During an era of digital transformation, people expect their medical bills to be as easy to pay as other transactions, such as Amazon one-click shopping or monthly recurring billing for Netflix. Increasing satisfaction is important at a time when people are paying more of their medical bills. High-deductible insurance plans are leaving patients with a larger amount to pay for services, and their expectations reflect this change. 

As patient responsibility has increased, medical practices are receiving at least 25% of revenue directly from patients. Practices will need to improve the patient experience if they wish to get paid upfront and faster. 

Simplifying payments with automatic payments 

Automatic billing is becoming the norm, with more than one-third of Americans enrolled in some type of automatic payment plan. Millennials are most likely to use this type of service, with a survey finding that 89% of this generation was using some type of autopayment service. But how does payment automation improve the patient experience? 

Over half of Americans expect their health care digital customer experience to be similar to retail. Automated payments allow your practice to store payment details in a secure system and, with the patient’s consent, use payment details to collect future financial obligations after insurance adjudication. 

A streamlined solution like ClearGage’s AutoPay allows practices to store and utilize a patient’s payment account to safely pay for balances due after insurance adjudication. As balances become due, auto payment automatically schedules the next payment based on the preauthorized patient agreement. Patients can be notified via text message or email prior to the payment as a reminder to ensure that funds are available. 

Improving the patient experience with faster payment options 

Most patients have a mobile device and prefer to use this technology to make payments. In fact, this payment method has increased by 63% since 2018. Patients are on the go and prefer a few easy clicks to settle a medical bill versus receiving an old-fashioned paper statement and writing a check. 

With this technology, patients receive a text message or email that allows them to settle their bill at the time of service. If patients can’t pay the entire balance at once, they can enroll in a payment plan and spread those payments out over a longer term. 

Moving forward with greater satisfaction 

Patient expectations are changing fast, and it’s important to stay ahead of these expectations to create more engaging and meaningful experiences. Doing so will allow you to quickly stand out and attract and retain more patients. 

Automatic payments, mobile payments and having a patient portal allow you to communicate with people by using the tools they already prefer and improve the patient experience. This encourages patients to return to your practice and refer their friends and families, helping grow your practice into the future.