Upgraded digital payment tools not a priority for most healthcare providers, survey finds

Most providers won't invest in new digital payment tools this year, despite the key role the billing and payment experience plays in patients' care decisions, according to a report from payment technology company Patientco.

For the report, in January Patientco surveyed more than 50 providers at large health systems, most with more than 350 beds, and 200 patients.

Five findings:

1. Seventy-nine percent of patient respondents said they consider the billing and payment experience when choosing a healthcare provider. However, 59.9 percent of provider respondents said they will not make new investments in consumer-friendly, digital payment technology this year.

2. Nearly all patient respondents (99 percent) said it is somewhat or very important to understand the potential cost of their visit and payment options before they receive care. But only 7.8 percent of provider respondents cited pre-service cost transparency as a top concern regarding the patient financial experience.

3. Most patient respondents (90.5 percent) said they want the option to pay their medical bill in installments if it is above a certain amount, and 69.2 percent prefer digital enrollment.

4. Eighty-seven percent of provider respondents indicated they offer flexible payment options, and more than half (51.9 percent) enroll patients via phone.

5. More than half of patient respondents (50.5 percent) cited affordability as their top concern about paying their medical bills, while only 12.2 percent of provider respondents cited patient affordability as one of their top concerns regarding the patient financial experience.

 

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