Navigating the Rivers of Processing Patient Payments (and the Chattooga)

By Patrick Creagh, Marketing Specialist

Healthcare changes directions constantly in the United States; this year alone, we’ve seen high numbers of mergers and acquisitions on the payer and provider sides alike. On the technology side, vendors and their clients are evolving to meet patient expectations while defending against more sophisticated cyberattacks.

Looking to the future, our upcoming presidential and congressional elections will dramatically impact healthcare policy regardless of who is elected. Payers, providers, and vendors must anticipate and accommodate policy changes all while maintaining compliant businesses and delivering superior customer service. Not an easy task!

Patients must review and choose a new coverage plan every year. Once selected, the patient must find providers who are in-network and shop for effective care that won’t break the bank. Also not an easy task!

The US healthcare system can be challenging to navigate as a patient and, as a patient payment technology vendor, Patientco is partly responsible for helping patients navigate a small part of this journey.

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Every year, the Patientco team goes white water rafting. Each team member goes down the same stretch of river in groups of 5 or 6 and a river guide, no matter his or her skill level. Even first-timers are subjected to class IV rapids.

Before a whitewater rafting group leaves the shore, the river guide walks through a series of commands designed to keep the group in sync on the river. Understanding and responding to these commands can be a matter of life and deatha flipped raft or a hard fall can have serious consequences.

When the current unexpectedly shifts, the leader may call out “forward 3!” [paddle 3 strokes forward]. There is no time for deliberation, only execution. The team members need to execute the motion immediately, in sync.

In healthcare, policy changes may be less sudden than an oncoming current, but hospitals and vendors are much larger rafts. Major strategy changes can take years to implement with little room for error. People’s health and well-being are at stakea matter of life and death in some circumstances. Payers, providers, and technology vendors are all stakeholders in the final outcome becauseat the end of the day, we are all patients.

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In the lobby of Patientco’s headquarters is a large wooden oar hanging over a glass plaque with our mission inscribed at the bottom: Easing healthcare’s transition towards increased patient financial responsibility through exceptional service and proven consumer-centric technology.

Patientco’s annual whitewater rafting trip is more than a team-building exercise. Careening down rapids as a group is a metaphor for navigating the complicated and ever-changing world of patient payment technology, so our providers and their patients don’t have to.