Despite of the leaps and bounds the healthcare industry has taken in the direction of going digital in the last few years, there is still plenty of work to be done. In an earlier blog, discussing the impracticality of Paper Patient Statements, we discussed a hypothetical patient named John. We speculated that John is likely one of the 68 percent of consumers who prefer to pay healthcare bills electronically, while still reluctantly receiving paper statements in the mail. He is also one of the 86 percent of consumers still receiving a paper bill, even though only 21 percent of consumers prefer to pay by check – while also being one of the 74 percent of consumers who find healthcare billing statements to be confusing.
Yet John’s provider is still wondering why they haven’t received his payment, or why they have sent out three statements with no response. Here are three ways John’s provider could benefit from switching to a paperless payment system:
Examining paper vs electronic statements at a basic level, it’s easy to see how the delivery of an electronic statement is more efficient than its paper counterpart. But looking deeper, the real catalyst expediting payments on electronic statements versus paper is patient sentiment. According to an InstaMed 2017 trend report, 65% of consumers would consider switching healthcare providers for a better healthcare payments experience. Part of that experience is being able to avoid the hassle of junk mail, paper checks and placing things in the mail. Giving them the ability to access their statement via email and pay online while paying the rest of their bills is the ideal payment experience.
The worry of incurring additional fees or expenses is what typically holds providers back from moving to an e-statement and online bill pay system. But, how much does online billing and electronic payment really cost the practice? The 2016 CAQH index report revealed that on average “each manual transaction costs providers and health plans approximately $3 more than each electronic transaction”. The data shows perks all around in support of electronic payment systems: it saves time and expense for the practice staff not having to manage paper checks and deposits.
96% of providers consider and 94% of payers consider security to be an important factor in collecting healthcare payments and how they pay. Improved security is just another benefit of making the switch to digital. No chances of paper bills getting lost, not getting delivered or any stress checking for or waiting on the mail.
A digital payment system provides patients with a personal secure login and secured payment options.
Electronic payment systems add convenience for every stage of the revenue cycle. They add simplicity for providers, reducing trips to the bank, long collection periods and paper checks while the patient experience is ultimately enhanced – making it a win-win for everybody.