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The Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report reveals the digital surge of 2020 will have lasting impacts on consumers, providers and payers

PHILADELPHIA, PA – (March 23, 2021) – InstaMed, a J.P. Morgan company, released the Trends in Healthcare Payments Eleventh Annual Report today – highlighting trends from the major industry stakeholders: consumers, providers and payers. The report explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many trends that impact the consumer experience in healthcare, including the increased availability of contactless payment options and telehealth. The latest trends reveal a continued disconnect among all stakeholders as consumers want to manage their healthcare payments with digital and contactless channels even after the pandemic is declared manageable.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a major upheaval in many consumer trends across the nation, from job loss and economic hardship to a massive surge in digital consumption. The report finds that these impacts exacerbated an already-fraught situation for healthcare consumers, where payment responsibility continues to increase while healthcare payment experiences and overall financial outlook have not kept pace.

  • 82% of consumers want to make all of their healthcare payments in one place
  • More than half of consumers would consider switching providers for a better healthcare payments experience
  • 78% of consumers want contactless options made prevalent amid the pandemic to remain in the future, including telehealth and digital payments

The pandemic led many providers to change their contactless payment strategy, while a significant number of providers started contactless collections in 2020. Providers faced many financial challenges in 2020, and the paper and manual processes that still dominate healthcare payments added further strain. Friction in payer-to-provider payments, including unexpected fees, continues despite providers’ clear preference for ERA/EFT.

  • More than half of providers changed their contactless payment strategy due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Two in five providers said their primary revenue cycle concern was related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 84% of providers prefer EFT from payers, but 62% of payers still pay providers with paper and fee-based options

Payers saw revenue growth and renewed potential for the individual market during the pandemic, while other stakeholders faced financial troubles. Yet, payers will need to work on payment experiences and innovation to sustain that positive outlook.

  • 76% of payers receive paper-based manual payments for premiums, but 78% of consumers prefer to pay their premiums online
  • 89% of payers leverage or plan to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • 95% of payers prioritize consumer preference for making all of their healthcare payments in one place

“Our annual report is designed to serve as a conversation-starter regarding the current state of the U.S. healthcare payments industry. This dialogue among industry stakeholders is now more critical than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic magnified the challenges already felt by consumers due to rising healthcare costs and payment responsibility,” said Bill Marvin, CEO, InstaMed and Head of Healthcare Payments and Managing Director, J.P. Morgan. “The 11th annual report shows that, while contactless experiences and utilization are growing across consumers, providers and payers, there continues to be alarming disconnect among these key stakeholders. Prioritizing consumer demand for the digitization of healthcare payments and processes is essential as healthcare organizations look to rebuild from the financial impacts of the pandemic.”

The Trends in Healthcare Payments Eleventh Annual Report highlights quantitative data derived from $393 billion in healthcare payments processed on the InstaMed platform and also features qualitative, proprietary, independently-gathered survey data from consumers, providers and payers nationwide. The report is available for download, free of charge, at along with registration for the webinar InstaMed will be hosting to explore the report’s data on Tuesday, April 13th at 1:00 PM ET.