Today’s generation of consumers has grown up in a connected world. For them, engaging with brands through email, text and even social media is second nature. Switching between screens is normal and they expect brands to communicate accordingly. These expectations apply to Health Systems, too. In fact, when we surveyed patients about their communication preferences, more than 60 percent stated they prefer digital communication over mailed paper statements. Yet, more than half of providers still rely primarily on mailed paper statements. This is just one of the reasons why Patientco launched Digital-First Billing.
Digital-First Billing: It’s What Patients Want
Digital-First Billing enables Health Systems to engage with patients via email or text first without mailing a paper statement. This product couldn’t be more timely, as research from Pew reports that 77 percent of adults spend time online everyday. Meanwhile, Gallup reports that 58 percent of Americans do not think much about checking their mailbox. So, not only are patients engaged via the digital channels they prefer, but Health Systems are able to utilize lower-cost communications.
Digital-First Billing offers another key benefit: flexible payment options. In our survey of patients and providers earlier this year, patients cited affordability as a concern four times more than providers. With Digital-First Billing, patients can immediately view affordable payment options, including prompt-pay discounts, interest-free payment plans and low monthly cost financing options. As a result, patients can afford their healthcare expenses and have a more modern billing and payment experience.
Digital-First Billing: What’s In It For Health Systems?
For Health Systems, Digital-First Billing promotes increased self-service payments by placing intuitive online and mobile-friendly payment options at patients’ fingertips. Likewise, the solution streamlines payment plan enrollment, reducing the administrative burden on Health System staff. Since patients are concerned about affordability, most want an option to pay their healthcare bill in installments. However, patients want to enroll in those options online, not by calling to speak with Health System staff. Pushing tailored, affordable self-service payment options via an eBill allows Health Systems to provide a more personalized, flexible and convenient patient financial experience.
Health Systems also receive payments faster, reducing patient A/R days. This is because patients receive eBills nearly one full week, or six days, faster than they would via snail mail. For one Health System client, the median days for patients to pay after sending a paper statement is 17 days. The median days to pay after sending an eBill is three days. Therefore, for this Health System, payments are received 83 percent faster.
In conclusion, Digital-First Billing empowers Health Systems to deliver a better patient financial experience, one that is more aligned with what today’s consumers expect. With this solution, Health Systems are positioned to attract and retain the next generation of patients: those that grew up in a connected world. As a result, Health Systems capture more payments today while creating loyal patients, driving more visits long-term.