As a healthcare provider, are you losing patients to other competing providers? Are you struggling with how to embrace new digital consumer payment platforms without disrupting your office protocols?
We can almost hear your exasperated sigh when you realize your younger patients may be switching to providers that offer digital payment solutions. This is not uncommon. According to the recent study produced by PYMNTS and Rectangle Health, “35% of bridge millennials and other younger patients are willing to switch healthcare providers to find better digital healthcare management tools.” You may wonder how your practice can stop this shift. While patient retention is always a priority, you also have to consider control over your current administrative protocols. Rest assured, there is a feasible solution that links practice efficiency and patient experience.
While many patients are returning to in-office visits, they have embraced the digital payment platforms that became mainstream during the pandemic. Many patients now expect their healthcare providers to offer digital payment options in lieu of traditional, paper-based options that now could feel like a step back. Manual payment methods often cause payment delays and frustration for patients who want to understand their financial responsibilities and take care of their balances in a more efficient way.
Although many consumers are ready for digital payment options, providers are not necessarily on board. According to a study conducted by CWH Advisors, “Younger consumers indicate a willingness to trust emerging fintech, payment, wellness, and other brands.” These new payment offerings appeal to many consumers, but many healthcare providers are hesitant to make the digital transition because of competing priorities at the practice.
CWH Advisors’ study finds that “providers don’t share the consumer’s enthusiasm” about new digital payment systems. Adopting contemporary digital payment methodologies is easier than you may think, and the benefits include both efficiencies for the patient and the staff. Here are 5 ways for your practice to realize the rewards of going digital:
1. Offer contactless payment solutions
Today’s consumers embrace contactless payment solutions as ways to maximize safety and minimize frustration associated with excess paper. Contactless payments safeguard both patients and staff members by minimizing contact between both parties and physical machines.
Contactless payment methods enable patients to tap their card or mobile device against the card reader to make a payment. Patients can simply tap and go for a one-step payment transaction. By providing this more efficient option to patients, your practice can appeal to your current patients’ preferences and keep both patients and staff members safer during and after the pandemic.
2. Expedite payments during pre- and post-care
There are many ways digital payment processing tools can make your practice’s payment collection methods more efficient.
- Capture a Card on File as a secure way for patients to store their preferred payment method digitally, allowing them to eliminate a step during future check-outs and helping your practice simplify its office experience. Digital tools can keep payment information secure in a digital vault, protecting sensitive data.
- Allow your patients to pay via text through a link that is sent to their mobile devices, alerting patients to upcoming invoices and sending them confirmation when payment is received. This solution can help your office collect more payments with much less outreach and effort.
- Offer online payments to make it easy for patients to use credit or debit cards to pay for their healthcare. According to the PYMNTS study, “Many consumers pay their bills with credit cards (37%) or debit cards (31%).” The preference for card payments is pushing paper-based payments out of the forefront, allowing your practice to save on manual labor time, effort, and costs. This user-friendly payment option includes payment notifications so all parties can stay updated.
3. Improve communication between practice and patient
The PYMNTS study finds that being able to communicate with providers through a safe and secure method is one of the most important digital offerings that would encourage patients to switch providers. Other important ways your practice can use digital tools to connect with your patients include sending them email and text notifications about appointments, using automation tools to remind them about payments, and offering patients digital options to fill out medical histories, review test results, and fill out registration forms. Don’t be left behind as more and more people switch to healthcare providers that offer patients these useful communication methods.
4. Use a payment platform that interfaces seamlessly with practice management systems
When considering which payment processing tools to implement, you want to make sure the tools you choose will be compatible with your practice management system. This compatibility will not only allow your practice to collect patients’ payments digitally, but it can also help make your accounts receivable processes more efficient and reliable by providing a central transaction record and automatically posting payments to your practice management system.
Many of the manual processes that office staff complete daily can be automated to save time and prevent errors. For example, payment systems that interface with your practice management system can post payments automatically to the patient account, and installment payments can run automatically on a weekly or monthly schedule.
Many practices think that implementing automation will require lengthy training that they are not prepared to invest in. This is often a misconception, as many payment management tools are easy to implement and learn. These tools are often cost-effective, and they can lead to increased profitability for your practice, as digital payment management tools can help your office get paid quicker and more reliably than traditional methods.
5. Offer patients flexible payment plans
Many healthcare patients from all demographics are quite interested in payment plans, as these financing options offer them greater flexibility when costs are a temporary concern. According to the PYMNTS study, “56% of consumers are “very or “extremely” interested in payment plans.” When it comes to capturing payments that might seem out of reach for patients, your practice could benefit from offering payment plans to the creditworthy and educating others about how they can best pay for services. Payment plans allow patients to pay medical bills that may not be covered by insurance in installments. By offering these financing options to patients, your practice can help make paying for unforeseen costs a reality.
Rectangle Health’s Solution Facilitates Both Communication and Payment
Rectangle Health’s Practice Management Bridge® is a comprehensive solution for improved office efficiency and enhanced patient experience. This platform blends a suite of features that can streamline your practice’s payment processing methods and help you reconnect with patients who may have gone elsewhere for care. Rectangle Health believes that payment experiences should be frictionless for both providers and patients by reducing balances in Accounts Receivable and avoiding manual registration errors, while improving provider-patient communication, implementing data security, and increasing payment efficiency through all stages of care.
Practice Management Bridge offers contactless payment solutions, Text-to-Pay for mobile payments, automatic payment posting, card on file, online payments, digital patient registration, and customizable messages for patient outreach. Practice Management Bridge is also compatible with your practice management system or electronic health records, allowing for a seamless digital transformation.
We know that payment can be a sensitive issue for your patients, especially when their insurance does not cover their visits, or if they experience other financial struggles. Rectangle Health’s flagship product, Practice Management Bridge, offers patients flexible payment options that makes healthcare costs more manageable.
As time progresses and technology evolves, it is increasingly necessary for your office to stay relevant to your consumers. Build and maintain your patients’ loyalty to your practice by adopting healthcare technology solutions. Reconnect with your consumers by choosing this innovative platform for your office. Soon your sighs of disappointment could become sighs of relief.