In a world where you can pay for a coffee from your smartwatch, complete peer-to-peer money movements with a simple swipe of an app and travel with a digitized boarding pass, why can’t the same convenience be applied to healthcare billing?
Great news: it can.
The convenience and user experience of on-the-go payments continues to grow, thanks to the “Apple-ization” of digital wallet technology. Let’s explore how this same technology can be applied in the healthcare space to improve the billing experience and increase on-time payments by presenting patients with a unified digital pay experience.
Dedicated Apple product users have already enjoyed the benefits of digitized wallet technology in so many other areas of their lives, it only makes sense that they are looking for a way to fold their healthcare insurance and payment data into that same digital wallet ecosphere.
“Data is already showing that the adoption of digital wallets is essential, if not expected by patients,” according to Dustin White, vice president of healthcare solutions at Paymentus. “Effectively enabling a seamless digital pay experience requires a dedicated billing and payments partner with industry expertise in both billing and payments as well as the healthcare vertical.”
It's time for healthcare billers to enter modernization mode and to incorporate this all-in-one approach to their patient bill presentment and payment strategy. The same contactless payment methods that a patient uses to buy their morning coffee or pay to park at their doctor’s office can also be used to pay their copay once they enter that doctor’s office.
Apple sets the pace
We must start by acknowledging that Apple has created an interconnected user experience that has set the gold standard across the industry. Apple Pay, Apple Wallet and its interconnected network of billers has allowed Apple product users to consolidate everything from airline tickets to payment methods to insurance identification cards under the digitally secure umbrella of a user’s Apple ID.
Android has followed this roadmap to success and now all smartphone users enjoy the convenience of their phones linking together all the apps and payment methods that they use in their everyday lives. This creates a seamless experience where insurance cards, payment data, medical documents and more can be safely stored and utilized with just a swipe.
Instead of having to carry physical copies of insurance cards, Health Savings Account-funded payment methods and credit cards, patients can rely on their smartphone and connected devices to store, secure and share that information safely with their healthcare providers.
It’s this interconnectivity that is especially attractive to healthcare providers and the businesses that support them. With major drug retailers such as Walgreens moving aggressively into the world of multifaceted healthcare payment options, it’s clear that healthcare providers must keep up with increasing patient demand in order to remain competitive and attractive to new patients.
User-friendly healthcare billing reduces patient delinquencies
This kind of streamlining also increases the transparency of what can sometimes be confusing, complicated or intimidating moments for patients — the medical bill presentation and payment experience.
“We are now seeing an opportunity for our healthcare provider partners to create a smoother journey for their patients through a notoriously challenging process,” said White. “It goes beyond enabling digital wallet payments, though. In order for the experience to be consistent and truly seamless, all patient payments should utilize the same platform.”
According to Consumer Reports, in a survey of 1,000 adults who had a medical expense over $500 in the last two years, nearly 3 in 10 insured Americans had an unpaid medical debt sent to a collection agency. Of those, 24% didn't realize the bill was owed and 13% said they never received the bill in the first place.
When the healthcare billing and payment process is given the Apple treatment, patients can more easily access their bills, check on outstanding balances and use tools like HSA-funded cards to resolve their bills in a timely manner. They can even establish recurring payments for regularly scheduled procedures or appointments.
By giving patients easier access to their billing statements and tying together any and all healthcare-related payment methods, healthcare providers also experience a more steady and reliable stream of income.
Conduct a check-up on your patient billing process
Just as with your personal health, it’s vital to regularly assess your healthcare organization’s billing and payment process’s health with a professional.
When was the last time you evaluated the system in which your patients navigate their care and bill payment? With a proven billing and payments partner like Paymentus, you can modernize quickly and efficiently. Let us help you create a roadmap to deploying these patient-friendly and user intuitive solutions to ensure that no patients fall through the cracks when it comes to the bill pay experience.
Paymentus (NYSE: PAY) is a leading provider of cloud-based bill payment technology and solutions. Our omni-channel platform provides consumers with easy-to-use, flexible and secure electronic bill payment experiences through their preferred payment channel and type. For more information, please visit www.paymentus.com.