user coSterling Hecox, Application Analyst II, Mercy Health System
What are your predictions for healthcare payments in 2017?
I think healthcare is going to continue to follow the example of other forward-thinking companies like Uber and Amazon in delivering the best-possible consumer payment experience. Since consumer payment responsibility has consistently increased over the past few years—and despite the unknowns that come with a new administration, are likely to continue to increase—healthcare has gotten better at delivering a consumer-friendly payment experience. I expect this will continue in 2017, and I think providers and patients are both going to benefit from deeper integration, innovative payment channels and consolidation of the complex billing process.
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement for the healthcare payments industry in recent years?
The whole industry has become more efficient and streamlined, mainly because of better technology. Steps that used to rely on manual, paper-based processes can now be completed quickly and accurately by software and cloud-based tools. As a result, provider organizations get paid faster and experience cost savings from using less paper and spending less time and resources to collect payments. Patients also benefit as technology has helped healthcare catch up to other industries in delivering a consumer-friendly experience.
What do you think is currently the biggest challenge to simplifying healthcare payments?
Likewise, technology can serve as a challenge to the healthcare payments process if an organization makes an investment in sub-par technologies or relies on too many vendors. This is often the case for organizations that have undergone mergers or acquisitions. If an organization is heavy on vendors but light on integration, technology can cause a bigger headache than no technology at all, as multiple disparate systems try (and fail) to communicate with each other in order to function effectively.
Have you been to Philadelphia before?
I visited Philadelphia last year during the InstaMed User Conference 2016.
What’s your favorite thing about the city?
I really enjoyed the opportunity to explore a city so rich in American history. After dinner at the Down Town Club, I took a tour of the city and got to see some landmarks like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. I’m hoping to have time to visit Eastern State Penitentiary after the conference this year.
What are you most looking forward to at the InstaMed User Conference 2017?
I’m looking forward to the Epic breakout session. As an IT Application Analyst at an Epic health system, it’s incredibly insightful to talk with other Epic users about how they’re using technology to determine and achieve revenue cycle goals. The benefit of InstaMed’s conference is that I get the opportunity to talk with Epic users who are also using InstaMed as their payment vendor, so the potential for obtaining valuable and actionable takeaways for my organization is really high.
Wiz wit or wiz witout?
After reviewing the proper vernacular, I would order my cheesesteak “prov without.”