The digital revolution is in full swing throughout the world. Mail volumes declined by five billion pieces or almost four percent in 2017. Online shopping increased six times faster than brick-and-mortar shopping during the 2017 holiday shopping season, while a record 7,000 retail stores closed or were set to close in 2017. Tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Uber are changing the world we live in by placing access to more and more at our fingertips. Yet, healthcare’s resistance to the digital revolution has been unwavering. Paper remains prevalent in almost every corner of the industry. Take as proof of this that there are an estimated 3,000 printed pages per consumer record.
Nowhere is the pain of paper felt more than in paper statements to patients. Fifty-eight percent of providers surveyed reported that paper statements were the primary method of collecting from patients. Yet, 41 percent of providers have not changed their patient statement in over five years. The reliance on an outdated way of billing may be a major contributor to why 73 percent of providers report that it takes longer than 30 days to collect from patients. Paper causes processes in the industry to take weeks and months, when it could take hours or days.
Despite the trends related to the digital world, healthcare overwhelmingly remains loyal to paper for most of its communications, especially those related to patient payments. The heavy reliance on paper for healthcare payments, instead of leveraging less expensive and more efficient electronic alternatives, costs all industry stakeholders. If healthcare were to fully embrace the digital revolution for payments, providers and payers could have the dual benefits of reducing overhead costs as well as guarantee more payments collected. Meanwhile, consumers could finally manage their payments how they know best – electronically and automatically. View the infographic below to learn more about how paper is the sandpaper of healthcare.