Every single bill I pay, I pay online. With advancements in banking and payment technology, we can even pay our friends and family online. So then why can’t we pay physicians online?
The answer is pretty simple. For many years, physicians didn’t really collect a majority of their revenue stream from patients, claims submitted to Payers made up the vast portion of their revenue. Back then, there wasn’t much reason to invest in an online portal infrastructure. But since the influx of high deductible health plans hit the market, all of that has rapidly changed.
With online patient portals, there are new, clear opportunities for physicians to collect patient revenue, quicker and easier. According to the 2013 Instamed Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report:
- Only two percent of consumers said that they received their healthcare bills via email in 2013.
- When asked how they normally pay their non-healthcare bills, such as utility or cable bills, 55 percent of consumers said that they paid online and 24 percent said that they paid via their bank’s bill pay portal.
- If given the option of various methods to pay their healthcare bills, 79 percent of consumers indicated that they would pay online through their provider or health plan website, and 49 percent indicated that they would pay online through their bank’s bill pay portal.
As technology advances and the market becomes more competitive – practices are now able to set up a basic online portal, for minimal costs and fees.
Things to look for in a robust online portal system:
- Portal “button” or prompt can integrate with existing website
- Providers & patients receive email notifications after payments are posted
- Payments made through the portal can be integrated into end of day reporting with all other office transactions for easy reconciliation
- Portal has ability to support payment plans if practice opts to offer this feature to patients
- Portal supports an affordable patient statements feature for e-mail or standard mail statements
- Accepts both checks (bank account and routing number) and all major credit cards
For more questions about implementing an Online Patient Portal contact us at NTC Healthcare.