Healthcare is one of the last industries where the majority of information is primarily transmitted via paper, including: EOPs, EOBs, mailed paper statements, paper check payments, etc. Overall, the ability to support these paper-based transactions requires manual processes that cost payers significant resources – consider that 16 percent of total healthcare spending is on administrative costs. Check out our infographic for the true cost of paper in the industry.
Going paperless is a challenge for organizations of all sizes and types, requiring them to invest in new technology, change workflows, retrain employees – and the list goes on. This is especially true for payers who are required to manage premium payments, payments to providers and help members understand their remaining payment responsibility to providers.
Change can be hard, yes. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are three opportunities to help payers go completely paperless.
- Remove Paper From the Provider Equation
Only 13 percent of providers said that they prefer payments in the form of paper checks and two percent preferred virtual card payments from payers, according to the Trends in Healthcare Payments Seventh Annual Report. The solution is to make ERA/EFT mandatory for every provider in your network – no exception. Even if you only make a few payments a year to the provider, paper checks and EOPs still contribute to the paper problem.
- Move to a 24/7 World
Make sure your members have a robust online portal where they can manage all of their healthcare payments 24/7 from any internet-capable device, including their premium payments and payments to their providers. To further maximize the paper-saving potential of your portal, offer members the ability to securely save a payment card in a digital wallet and then set up automatic, recurring payments for their premiums. This will eliminate both the need for a monthly paper statement as well as payment via a paper check. Don’t think your members would want this? Almost 60% of consumers wanted the option to schedule an automatic deduction to pay their premiums.
- Eliminate Envelopes
It’s not you, envelopes, it’s us. After a long relationship, it’s time to break up with envelopes throughout the payment process, but especially for collecting premiums. If your organization’s goal is to move from paper statements and check payments for premiums to eStatements and electronic payments, then eliminate processes that encourage the continued use of paper. Remove remittance envelopes from all member statements and make sure members see clear instructions on how to enroll for eStatements and make payments online.