It may sound hyperbolic to speak about a payment revolution, but changes in the way consumers pay for goods and services in the past decade or so have been open and noticeable. From the ability to make purchases and pay bills online to using mobile devices in the place of credit and debit cards, the way people pay is changing.
Let's take a look at how the patient experience continues to change and what your facility can do to take advantage of these developments:
Better Patient Experiences
"Money and how to pay bills are vitally important considerations for many patients."
While there are obvious differences between the retail sales world and healthcare, every type of business benefits from a stable and loyal base of customers - or patients. The traditional concept of it costing more to gain new customers as opposed to repeat customers still holds value. The degree of it varies by industry, but you must remember it's beneficial to capture the revenue patients already owe you.
A group of patients who appreciate the level of service they receive - both in terms of care and follow up or administrative tasks- are beneficial to an organization. Research by consulting group Accenture found hospitals that provide highly positive patient experiences can increase margins as much as 50 percent.
Healthcare payments are one aspect of a more holistic improvement in the patient experience, but they are the most vital in some important ways. Consider:
- Paying is often the last step for a patient before leaving the facility, and therefore leaves a lasting impression.
- Payments are among the most similar and relatable consumer actions in healthcare as compared to other types of businesses.
- Timing and income are often directly correlated to a patient's ability to pay.
Patients have become accustomed to payment methods from the biggest and most common industries like retail. What can your facility do to keep up with the preferences?
Making the Payment Experience More Positive and Effective
Providing effective payment options is among the most crucial actions providers can take to create a modern payment environment and improve satisfaction. Incorporating healthcare payment solutions like online bill pay tools is one valuable strategy. Just as patients pay online for a variety of goods and services outside the medical world, they should have similar options and simplicity when settling their bill with your facility.
Another option to strongly consider is recurring payment plans. Managing payment responsibility creates positive outcomes for you and your patients. For patients who can't pay their medical bills all at once, payment plans strike a balance between providing financial flexibility and ensuring your facility receives all the money owed to it. By keeping a patient's payment information on-file and pre-authorizing the charges on a weekly, monthly or other regular basis, you can keep patients happy and remove the need for staff to take on all the work that normally comes with collection.