In direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, the healthcare industry experienced a transformation. Social distancing guidelines continue to limit in-person contact and crowded spaces whenever possible. The patient and provider relationship relies on technology for safe interactions. Many of these shifts are expected to last beyond COVID-19, impacting everything from care delivery to the payment journey.
Even before the pandemic, many providers struggled to effectively collect. 78% reported being unable to collect patient balances more than $1,000 within a month and 74% stated that it takes more than a month to collect any patient balance (Trends in Healthcare Payments Tenth Annual Report: 2019). Today’s patients want payment experiences that mirror their non-healthcare bills. The demand for digital, convenient and secure payment options is high. When providers meet these needs, they empower patients to take charge of their payment experiences while easing the internal strain associated with administrative time and money.
Given the shift in the industry landscape and new hurdles brought on by the pandemic, providers must find ways to streamline collecting while being mindful of the well-being of staff and patients. Because there is no one-size-fits-all method for how patients want to pay, it is important to offer as many options as possible.
Here are 3 often-overlooked methods for safe and easy patient payment collection.
Bank Bill Payments
Many banks enable customers to pay a variety of bills directly through their bank bill pay portal. Patients can use this function to take care of their healthcare expenses as well.
Payments delayed by mail become a non-issue for patients using the bank bill pay option. Providers that want to add bank bill pay to their patient payment experiences must ensure that they are properly set up and registered to receive this type of electronic payment.
Health Plan Websites and Member Portals
Patients are already connected to their health plans and rely on their websites for information about their health coverage. When patients can pay providers through a health plan’s website their healthcare financials are in one convenient place and there is no need for face to face interaction. For providers, collection is simplified with electronic payments eliminating the need for paper billing.
Learn more about transforming a health plan’s website into an all-encompassing tool for patients.
Kiosks for Walk-In Bill Pay
Kiosks placed in convenient locations enable patients to pay their healthcare bills without needing to visit their provider’s office. For providers looking to add this option, selecting the right vendor is key. Providers need to ensure that payments are being received and that patients are effectively notified of payment due dates and receipt to confirm payment reconciliation.
Regardless of the channels that make up the payment experience, providers must be sure to effectively communicate the available options to patients at every touchpoint to increase adoption.