The Luck of the Irish
March is upon us. That means March Madness, the National College Athletic Association’s (NCAA) annual college basketball tournament, as well as St. Patrick’s Day and “the luck of the Irish.” But for healthcare providers, engaging in another type of “March Madness”—the “frenzy” of deploying healthcare payment systems, solutions, and services—brings luck, too.
mStatistics make a very good case for automating healthcare payments and using technology as a linchpin. For one thing, consumers are increasingly demanding automated means of paying their healthcare bills. Healthcare trends research conducted by market research firm LHK Partners indicates that 68 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to handle these bills electronically rather than via paper-based methods.
That’s not all: LHK also found that of consumers who favor electronic healthcare bill payment methods, 80 percent most like to do so through online channels. Twenty percent of online healthcare payments are made on a mobile device, the research reveals.
The Mad Dash
What’s more, healthcare providers clearly need to go “mad”—March or otherwise—for payment technology and services. Again, the numbers prove it. Consumers’ portion of medical bills is higher, so there’s more at stake collection-wise for physicians and other entities. Specifically, patient healthcare costs, including both deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum payments, have increased by almost 30 percent since 2015, with the average deductible standing at $1,820, according to the Black Book 2017 Revenue Cycle Management Study. A whopping 83 percent of physician practices with five practitioners or fewer say slow payment by patients with high deductibles is their top collection challenge, the same survey indicates. On top of that, there is the cost of labor and supplies to generate and mail paper bills, as well as to process payments.
Implementing a web-based system is one way to get lucky—or maybe more aptly, luckier—when it comes to handling healthcare payments. Instead of enduring the hassle of setting up their own channel for accepting the online payments, healthcare providers can implement a system like E-Complish’s Hostpay, which lets them link to an existing payment site from their own website. The payment site can be customized to match healthcare providers’ own website, allowing easier recognition and use by patients. A quick, seamless payment experience not only satisfies consumers’ demand for automated payment options, but has strong potential to speed up payments because making them is so easy. Additionally, payments made via a web-based system of this type are settled quickly and safely, as they are processed in real time on Level One PCI-compliant servers.
A mad dash for an interactive voice response (IVR) system can also bring healthcare providers good payment collection luck. With IVR, a wide variety of payment types can be accepted over the phone, using a series of pre-recorded messages. Patient satisfaction, along with the speed of and likeliness of collecting payments, improves: Patients need not wait for assistance from a staff member to complete a payment, and payments can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For healthcare providers, accepting automating phone payments eliminates the hassle and expense of hiring and training staff to take phone payment. Just as important, it enhances payment accuracy and boosts productivity. DirectPay, E-Complish’s IVR offering, is computer-based and interacts with customers via phone touch tones and voice recognition.
Both HostPay and DirectPay interact with E-Complish’s other payment solutions. Learn more here.[