Fix These 5 Payment Challenges, Improve Your Patient Experience
Patient experience is a top priority for all engaged, successful healthcare providers. It’s also one place many practices fall short, especially when it comes to online payment processing.
Did you know 65% of patients would consider switching providers for a better payment experience? Patients want the freedom to pay their bills how and when they want, so it’s up to practices to improve patient payment collection. The good news is that the right patient payment solution will not only improve the patient experience but also speed up payments, reduce fees to your practice and increase collections overall.
Here are five common patient payment challenges—and what your practice needs to solve them.
Payment collection challenge #1: It takes too long to get paid
Most healthcare providers say that it takes more than a month to collect payment—whole or partial—from a patient. At PayGround, we’ve seen three things that contribute to a longer payment collection cycle.
1. Practices only send statements to patients once a month.
This is a missed opportunity since many patients will pay their bills as soon as they receive them—if they receive them in a timely fashion.
2. Patients don’t understand their bill/responsibility versus what insurance covers.
Lack of clear billing is a big obstacle to patient payment collection. If patients can’t get clarification on a bill, or if they don’t receive that bill for a while, they’re likely to forget when and why they were seen — especially if they frequently see multiple providers.
3. Patients don’t have access to the payment options they want.
85% of patients now prefer to pay medical bills electronically. Having an online payment processing option, even if it’s driven by paper statements, reduces friction and gets practices paid faster.
Payment collection challenge #2: Disconnected patients
What’s the last touch in the patient experience? Most practices think it’s the moment patients leave the office, but it’s actually payment collection.
Patients want flexible, online payment processing; however, most providers are still:
- Solely relying on paper statements for communication
- Not meeting patients where they are
- Not communicating with patients in the way they want
Think about this: Where is your cell phone right now? And where is your mail?
For most people, the answers are “right here” and “probably in my mailbox, I think?” Those answers show you the importance of being where your patients are, which is on-the-go. If you’re only meeting patients at their mailbox, you’re not meeting them on their terms, and that means a longer payment collection cycle.
Payment collection challenge #3: Complications for staff
One payment collection challenge every practice faces is inefficiency.
Day to day, your practice is dealing with:
- Too many tools and systems your staff needs to learn (merchant service, billing systems, EMR, etc.)
- Staff with a wide range of skills and experience
- Staff turnover, which creates a constant need for training
That means you need intuitive systems, and as few systems overall as possible.
Payment collection challenge #4: High or confusing costs
When it comes to patient payment collection, confusion and cost can be detrimental to both the patient experience and the staff experience. More than half of independent medical providers do not offer online payment processing, which makes sense when you consider what many have faced when they’ve tried.
Practices often experience:
- High merchant-services fees
- Discrepancy between what practices are quoted versus their actual costs
- Hidden or miscellaneous fees
- Lack of fee explanation and transparency
- Limited options for system setup, patient payment collection, etc.
Every one of those experiences is frustrating, which is why a simple, straightforward system—and provider—are crucial to success.
Payment collection challenge #5: Difficult implementation
One of the biggest hurdles practices face when it comes to online payment processing is implementation.
Most practices are concerned about:
- A lack of resources, whether that’s people or knowledge, needed to implement a solution
- Other priorities in the practice
- Cost and time it will take to realize a return on investment
The reality is that the right patient payment solution will take the time, expertise and cost burdens off of you.
How do you solve these problems?
Simple: Your practice needs an online payment processing solution that takes care of all five of these challenges.
At PayGround, that starts with simplicity. PayGround gives your practice what it needs:
- One-click payments across all devices
- Branded payment page for your patients
- Custom analytics dashboard
- Stored payments, security and more
Our cloud-based software layers on top of any system, giving you technology that is:
- Simple to implement
- Simple to use
- Available 24/7/365
- Constantly evolving
We get practices online in an average of three business days, and we onboard staff members in one hour. Because PayGround isn’t confusing, it doesn’t require many resources to adopt, which is why many of our clients have done it successfully, even during peak times.
Plus, we know that a few things make a big difference when it comes to patient payment:
- Fair pricing: Your practice can only thrive when you stop overpaying and fully understand your fees upfront.
- Digital requests: For the patient, switching to electronic invoicing via text and email directly correlates to faster payments. Add on the additional cost savings of eliminating paper statements, freeing up staff from taking calls and removing friction for patients and it’s easy to see why PayGround works for practices.