Why healthcare CFOs are eyeing Venmo, Zelle

Healthcare CFOs see potential in apps such as Venmo and Zelle beyond splitting the bill at a restaurant, according to a recent survey conducted by U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank surveyed 200 finance professionals in U.S. healthcare to compile its Healthcare Report, shared with Becker's in October. Respondents identified improving vendor and patient payment experiences as their second-highest technology priority (next to cutting costs/driving efficiencies). 

Patients often find healthcare bills confusing and are unclear on whether they can pay bills online — and if they can, how to go about it. As a result, 55% of leaders ranked payment efficiency an important consideration. Although only 47% use instant payment methods like RTPNetwork today, 70% say they plan to implement RTPNetwork or FedNow — the Federal Reserve's new service which launched in July — in the next two years. 

Healthcare is ahead of the curve when it comes to other modern payment methods: 54% of healthcare companies already use business-to-consumer payment methods such as Venmo and Zelle, compared to 43% of businesses in other sectors. And 47% of healthcare companies already offer real-time payments, compared to 41% outside the sector. 

Although healthcare leaders are ambitious in their desire to revamp payment methods, little has changed in their adoption of new avenues over the past year, according to the report. 

"By transitioning from paper to digital refund processes, providers can improve efficiency, reduce costs, eliminate manual errors and enhance patient satisfaction," said Meghan Wilmes, senior vice president and head of healthcare product at U.S. Bank. 

"And educating patients on the benefits, as well as the security of digital payments, is also important. We hear a lot about fraud, so educating patients about the safety of digital patient refunds is important. Education will be key in driving adoption." 

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