Streamlining the healthcare journey: top tips for managing patient payments

Streamlining the healthcare journey- top tips for managing patient payments

Effective management of healthcare payment interactions is crucial. In a progressively competitive landscape, delivering an exceptional patient experience and offering secure, seamless patient payment choices present significant opportunities to enhance operational efficiency and foster customer loyalty.

The more ease and convenience you can provide, the more likely it will be that you’ll enhance patient engagement, boost retention rates and improve community health.

More importantly, enabling a streamlined payment experience makes it possible to collect patient payments in a timely manner in the preferred channel of choice for your patients. Something that can significantly reduce the burden on busy administration teams, reduce risk and improve patient experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways healthcare organizations can make changes to the payment experience that will deliver measurable improvements for patients, their teams, and have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Payments are part of the patient experience

Healthcare payments have long been a major source of friction for providers, payers and patients. However, today’s payment technologies make it possible to deliver a convenient and secure patient payment experience during what may be, for many, a stressful or difficult time in their lives.

Indeed, according to recent report by PYMNTS, 60% of patients would consider switching provider after receiving an incorrect cost or surprise bill. Which illustrates how any hiccup during the patient payment experience can have a big impact on loyalty.

While healthcare providers may not always have as much control as they’d like over the intricacies of the billing process, how they communicate with patients about payment collections goes a long way to ensuring that patients receive accurate information about their treatment costs. Something that will incentivize them to make the right payment at the right time.

By providing timely and transparent information on payment processes and billing, healthcare providers can ensure patients are primed and ready to pay. This could be as simple as a preauthorization before an appointment, if a patient’s full treatment is covered by their insurance provider, or providing explicit guidance on whether an in-person payment at the point of treatment is required.

Initiate digital payment options

Today’s digitally savvy consumers have embraced electronic and self-service payment options. Now 91% say they would prefer to use electronic payment methods to pay their medical bills.

Accustomed to booking appointments or referrals using digital channels like online patient portals or mobile apps, these consumers now expect to encounter convenient digital payment options that make it easy to make payments 24/7. So much so that 49% of consumers and 74% of millennials would consider switching provider for a better healthcare payment experience.

That means that healthcare organizations need to be able to accept a growing variety of patient payment options during in-person visits as well as through online channels too. This may include interactive voice response options, live chat or digital chatbots.

By making use of digital payment options, healthcare providers will be able to initiate smoother patient payment processes that benefit all. Payment collection becomes speedier and easier to capture. Meanwhile, the time spent dealing with open or outstanding invoices will be reduced. Plus, it will be easier to offer a choice of payment options that will match patient payment preferences – via WhatsApp, email, voice, SMS, chatbots and more.

Ultimately, by making it easier for patients, the more likely they are to make on-time pre-pay, co-pay and account balances that prevent scheduling conflicts or loss of coverage.

Simplify and streamline payments

Today’s digital payment technologies make it quicker and easier for patients to make immediate ‘in the moment’ payments. By empowering patients to make digital payments using their debit or credit card, or direct from their bank account, healthcare providers can generate some significant gains.

According to a recent report by U.S. Bank:

  • 44% of US healthcare consumers pay faster when they receive digital or phone notifications about billing
  • 49% would pay by text if available

By communicating in truly consumer-centric ways, healthcare organizations can generate enhanced value for patients. For example, sending out text or email appointment reminders containing a digital payment link makes it easy for patients to submit their payment immediately and with a single click.

Similarly, delivering digital or phone notifications about upcoming scheduled bills will give patients a truly integrated digital experience that minimizes payment friction and protects patients from falling behind on their accounts.

By switching to a digital patient payment strategy, healthcare organizations can improve the patient experience and make it easier for them to consume health services in a modern way. It also introduces new automation efficiencies that will reduce the number of time-consuming phone calls that administration and practice teams need to undertake.

Healthcare eBook

Make payments safer and more secure

By initiating digital patient payment options like QR codes or online payment links sent by text or email, healthcare organizations can give health consumers the choice and flexibility in how they pay for their care.

For in-person payments, organizations can use digital payment channels to complement other in-person payment options - like contactless cards to reduce patient concerns about having to touch payment devices. By eliminating any need to hand over a card, or share payment authorization security information, patients are empowered to take full control of their payment authorization data.

When it comes to remote payments, the increase in cyberattacks targeting the healthcare sector mean that self-service digital options and telephone payments managed by agents or administration teams must comply with stringent privacy and data security regulations.

This means that healthcare organizations will need to work with expert data security partners that offer solutions that will protect patient payments in every channel, enable seamless payment interactions, and make it possible to achieve of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and HIPPA compliance in the most cost-effective way possible.

Helping you turn patient payments into a CX differentiator

Sycurio’s voice and digital payment security solutions make it easy for healthcare providers to enable frictionless, secure, and easy-to-manage payment environments that enable patients to pay in the channel of their choice.

Automating the capture, separation, and transmission of sensitive data such as card and bank payment details or health and personal information from your organization’s contact center, remote agent, web-service, or applications, Sycurio’s technologies remove your customer service agents, networks, telephony, and infrastructure from the scope of PCI DSS.

Offering deep integration with payment service providers (PSPs), EHR and back-office systems, our solutions eliminate the need to process or maintain sensitive patient payment data anywhere in your network or IT infrastructure.

In terms of delivering peace of mind for patients, our secure payment process allows them to directly input payment or banking data using their telephone keypad or a secure payment link. Plus, when it comes to handling telephone payments, our patented data capture method using Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) masking technology prevents this data being seen or heard by support agents. Which also means there is no need to pause call recordings.

Eliminating the cost, burden and complexity of compliance, our extensive choice of patient payment solutions simplify how today’s healthcare organizations deliver modern and secure payment experiences in any channel.

Encompassing everything from QR code payments and ACH transactions through to email, IVR, chat, and SMS, and more, we enable you to provide today’s healthcare consumers with an outstanding CX coupled with world-class transaction security.