Text and Email to Pay: Reshaping Payments in Healthcare
The enrollment in high-deductible health plans continues to grow. Between 2007 and 2017, enrollment grew from 4.2% to 18.9%. The result is that more patients are paying a larger portion of their healthcare bill. This creates a variety of challenges, including affordability of care, patients not visiting due to worries about costs – and slow and unpaid receivables.
At the same time, digital transformation is in full swing, and this presents an opportunity for medical practices. More patients are using a digital payment option to pay for services. From ordering takeout to shopping online to setting up automatic payment plans, people are doing this all digitally.
As a result, with the right technology in place, you have the ability to get paid faster and improve the patient experience. Improving the patient experience is critical since 63% of healthcare organizations think they are delivering on patient care, yet only 43% of patients actually agree. Since patients are now customers too, technologies that focus on the patient experience, especially around payment options, are critical to future success.
The rise of text and email to pay
The use of digital and mobile payments is on the rise globally. Estimates suggest that during 2019, 2.1 billion consumers used a digital wallet – up 30% from 2017. A main driver of digital payment use is the expectations around the consumer experience. Smartphones have changed the way people interact with all businesses, including their medical practice. Patients want the convenience of conducting business from their devices, and this includes everything from viewing account details to making payments.
Medical billing has evolved from sending a paper statement and waiting weeks to get paid to receiving electronic payments at the exact moment of service. For example, QuickPay allows you to connect with patients on the go and get paid faster by allowing patients to pay directly through text or email.
Using this technology in healthcare, you can call the patient prior to the appointment, explain the cost and give the option of paying via text or email message. If the patient can’t pay the entire outstanding balance, a payment plan can be set up. Being one of the biggest trends in healthcare payments, this approach allows your practice to drive more on-time payments, grow your practice and reach more patients.
These solutions also offer attractive contactless check out options in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers will appreciate not only the convenience, but also the safety aspects involved. And, believe it or not, digital payment methods work for both in-person and telehealth services.
A positive patient experience requires the right tools
Just as a patient requires the right diagnosis for a medical condition, so does an organization for a good customer experience. Only 30% of healthcare organizations have implemented tools around customer experience. What’s more, 58% of healthcare leaders report that offering digital tools helps with customer engagement, yet only 14% have those tools in place.
If you ask yourself, what qualities does a good healthcare provider possess, you might find that many agree on one answer: digital payment solutions. Offering digital payment options allows you to meet customer expectations and speed up revenue cycles. But it starts with knowing what to look for in a payment solution.
What to look for in a solution
Not all text and email payment solutions are created equally, and it helps to know which options are best suited for your practice. What will ensure that you exceed patient expectations and keep people coming back for more? Consider the following:
Financing options. Consider a payment option that allows patients to tap into flexible and personalized financing options if they can’t pay the entire bill at one time.
Autopayment enabled. Patients have an automatic payment set up in many different aspects of their lives, including online shopping, takeout ordering, and more. Consider a payment method that allows you to securely store credit card details and automatically bills after insurance adjudication, based on your agreement with the patient.
Interactive voice response. Adding self-service IVR payments allows you to expand your payment options in a cost-effective way, adding a higher ROI.
A payment solution that empowers patients with the tools they require to quickly pay bills reduces your risk of late payments and bad debt. As a result, you can grow your practice with a platform that allows for digital payment options, flexible financing, and simplified patient transactions.
Moving into the future with greater satisfaction
Only 8% of healthcare organizations consider customer expectations a high priority and have implemented planning strategies to address this area. This creates a large opportunity for your practice to stand out against competitors by providing a simplified and easy digital experience.
One of the patient’s biggest worries is the cost of care. And this worry will only grow as people continue to pay a larger portion of their healthcare bills. Providing transparency within the payment process and flexible options to pay for care will assist with creating lasting and more meaningful relationships with your patients. Contact ClearGage today for help on setting up your new digital payment methods.