02. 24. 22
Healthcare organizations have endured a range of pandemic-related challenges that threaten financial well-being and workforce stability and alter how healthcare providers engage with their patients.
In response to these challenges, many medical practices and healthcare organizations have adopted automated technologies. The 2021 Healthcare Digital Transformation Survey found that 93% of healthcare organizations were adding new digital projects due to COVID-19 and 42% were accelerating existing ones.
With the rapid adoption of new technology comes questions about return on investment: What are the benefits of automated healthcare payment solutions? How can healthcare providers use these tools to thrive during the pandemic and beyond?
Although the need for automation in healthcare patient payments has existed for a long time, the pandemic exacerbated existing weaknesses in the system and created new ones. As a result, the industry has seen some concerning trends:
The good news is that digital solutions can help overcome these challenges by streamlining operations, creating efficiencies, and providing a better patient experience. From a financial, workforce, and patient perspective, there has never been a better time to consider transitioning to a more automated workflow.
Here are five ways a digital transformation in healthcare patient payments and engagement can help your organization boost revenue:
Given the ease of paying digitally and the frustration of paper statements, today’s consumers, especially those under age 35, are gravitating toward contactless payments. The days of paying with cash, checks, and even credit cards are declining.
The CWH Advisors’ survey found a majority (57%) of respondents aged 18-34 preferred using debit cards and digital wallets, like Apple Pay, to make healthcare payments. A report by eMarketer predicts mobile wallet users will reach $125 million by 2025. This represents half of all smartphone users.
Offering digital payment methods reduces resistance at the point of payment and accelerates patient collections. With options such as Text to Pay and mobile payments, patients can settle their bills at the tap of a button. It’s a win-win situation for providers and patients.
Buying now and paying later is a mainstay for consumers purchasing many types of goods and services. Why should health
care be any different? According to the PYMNTS study, 56% of consumers agree.
Payment financing options can help make healthcare costs more affordable at a time when Americans need it most. A Commonwealth Fund survey found that nearly 10% of adults ages 19 to 64 are still uninsured and more than one-third of patients struggle to pay their medical bills or are paying off previous medical debt. What’s more, more than 70% of people who responded to the CWH Advisors survey say that healthcare costs affect their decision to seek care.
While many healthcare organizations offer payment plans for low-income patients or to resolve bad debt, these programs are usually handled manually. They are bulky to manage for staff and patients.
Modern, automated flexible payment options not only streamline this process, they also improve the bottom line by:
Today, keeping patients happy is about more than the care they receive. Technology is increasingly important in how patients view their healthcare experience.
Safe, secure text messaging is a priority for many patients. According to a 2019 health consumer survey by Accenture, 70% of patie
nts prefer a provider who offers text reminders. This is up from 57% in 2016.
Text messages are a more reliable way than phone calls and voice mails to communicate with patients about:
By catering to your patients’ communication needs, you’re meeting them where they want to be met. This helps build patient satisfaction and loyalty.
Workflow inefficiencies cost time and money. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that waste in the U.S. healthcare system accounts for 25% of all healthcare costs. This includes between $27.2 billion and $78.2 billion due to poor care coordination and $265.6 billion due to administrative complexity. Digital technology is a critical tool for managing the complexities of the healthcare system and reducing costs.
At the local level, automated systems can replace manual processes to improve efficiency and reduce errors. Automation-based technology can streamline your organization’s patient payment methods by:
With less time spent on such routine tasks, your staff will have more time to invest in higher-level projects.
Many organizations are making what was believed to be a temporary arrangement perman
ent. If the ability to work remotely is in your organization’s future, it makes sense to invest in processes to better facilitate this type of work.
One of those strategies is utilizing cloud-based software. With secure access and a web-based interface, you can facilitate manual tasks such as mailing paper billing statements, handling checks and cash, taking payments over the phone, and posting payments. This makes running the office from home feasible.
Rectangle Health’s flagship product, Practice Management Bridge®, offers a suite of solutions designed to streamline patient payment processing. The platform interfaces seamlessly and securely into any existing practice management system or electronic medical record, improving office efficiency and enhancing the patient experience.
At Rectangle Health, we believe patient payment processes should be as frictionless as possible for providers and patients. That’s why Practice Management Bridge includes options for contactless payments including Text to Pay, mobile payments, online payments, Card on File, point of care payments, and patient financing. Our platform also includes solutions that help improve provider-patient communication such as digital registration forms and customizable messages. Rectangle Health has been the choice of thousands of healthcare providers for almost 30 years.