As patients shoulder a bigger portion of the healthcare cost burden, medical billing companies are tweaking their healthcare technology tools as well. InstaMed has developed an app for providers that helps them respond to the trend of patients increasingly paying for medical bills using mhealth services.
InstaMed, which likes to refer to itself as the PayPal of healthcare, has added an app for iPhones and iPads called InstaMed Go to make it easier for providers to collect payments.
Here’s how it works: Providers automatically post payments to their practice management systems, email patient payment receipts and access reporting on all payment transactions, according to a company statement.
CTO and Co-Founder Chris Seib told MedCity News that the move to launch InstaMed Go comes as more and more consumers opt to pay providers through mobile devices. Consumers using mobile devices to make payments with InstaMed’s Web-based applications for Android and iOS devices account for 10 percent of medical bill payments, Seib said.
He said InstaMed has been looking to expand its mhealth services, specifically with an app, for some time. It didn’t want to rush an app onto the market until it could ensure it had secure cloud support.
Last year it collaborated with UnitedHealthcare to make it possible for members to pay their providers through its patient portal, myUHC.com. Since that happened, Seib said, this segment of its business has accelerated and it has added 19 more payers for this service.
“We are definitely seeing acceleration towards consumerism. It is really important to do business on consumers’ terms and understand their preferences,” Seib added. “The cost and quality of services are important, but it also needs to be easy to use. Where you can provide convenience to the customer, that can be a powerful retention tool.”
Electronic remittance advice and electronic fund transfer provisions in the Affordable Care Act have helped drive this part of its business, Seib added.
To make it possible for end users to pay bills with credit cards, it had to develop technology that makes it possible to capture a customer’s signature, for example.
“We are seeing more healthcare providers doing payments in new and innovative ways,” Seib said. “We only see that continuing to increase.”