One of the fastest-growing revenue sources for healthcare providers is patient payments. At the same time, modern technology is making all consumers in our society grow accustomed to more convenient modes of payment. The combination of these two trends clarifies the path forward: providers that want to provide excellent care, satisfy their patients, and maximize revenue must find ways to improve the patient payment experience.
Here we outline 5 ways that healthcare providers can utilize technological solutions to enhance the payment experience for patients.
- Offer Digital and Mobile Payment Options
Modern healthcare patients are like modern consumers in one basic way: they want options for making payments online or through their mobile phones. To meet this demand, providers can offer online or mobile payment platforms. And text messaging can be an essential component of this approach, both for payment reminders and for making payments directly.
- Automate Patient Payments
Inevitably, many patients will want or require payment plans for larger bills. To assist with these recurring payments, providers should consider automation of the payment process. This will both increase payment rates and make payment more hassle-free for patients – a win-win for providers.
Payment automation is a process that pairs well with offering digital and mobile payment options. Using online portals, patients can set up and manage their autopay accounts, ensuring their recurring payments will be made efficiently and on time.
- Provide Overview of Multiple Accounts for Single User
One major source of frustration and confusion for individual healthcare payers is having to separately view accounts for different patients. The classic example would be the employee with an employer-provided plan that covers the employee’s family members as well. That health plan member would be better served by seeing the total amount they owe at any given time, instead of how much is owed for each individual patient account.
- Combined Payments and Payment Plans for Multiple Accounts
This point goes hand-in-hand with the issue above regarding overviews of multiple accounts for a single user. With an individual financially responsible for multiple accounts, their payments can be unnecessarily complex. Not only does the user have to make separate payments for each account, they may need multiple payment plans as well. To remedy this issue, providers can allow these users to make single payments, or set up single payment plans, to cover multiple accounts.
- Adapt to Patient Preferences and Behavior
All of the above options for patient payments also require one crucial component. Providers must pay attention to what patients actually want and how they behave.
The first requirement is communication with patients about their preferred modes of payment. Many patients, especially older ones, would still prefer to make their payment with the tried-and-true process of mailing in their checks. Others may not be comfortable with receiving statements via email or text. While offering digital and mobile-based payment can be crucial, it is also essential that these payment modes are optional, not mandatory.
Beyond their stated preferences, providers can also look to patient’s actual behavior with modes of payment. For example, if a patient fails to engage with emailed statements, it may be preferable to switch them back to traditional paper statements delivered via U.S. mail.
Healthcare providers should be seeking to make patient payments as convenient as they are for other parts of our society. Using approaches such as the ones listed here can increase patient loyalty and satisfaction, while also helping to maximize the efficiency of the provider’s revenue cycle. Request a demo today to see how BillingTree can improve the payment experience for your patients.