Digital Payment Progress Report:  Patient Payment Offerings Growing to Meet Demand
4 ways providers are embracing digital payment options to improve the revenue cycle
Patients today demand:

Better insight around the cost of their care

While patients report a high level of understanding of their financial obligation,  56% plan to ask for a cost estimate in the future.

Greater freedom in choosing care providers

Of patients comparing prices, 75% are between 18-34 years old. 

Convenient, digital payment options that match the service level they experience in other industries

More than half of patients (52%) prefer to be billed electronically versus receiving paper statements.

Our 2017 Digital Payment Progress Report™ surveyed 761 MGMA members and shows that innovative providers understand what patients want.
They’re shifting their mindsets and closing the gap between antiquated payment processes and the electronic conveniences patients want.
Digital payment options bridge the digital divide to:
1Give patients clarity about their balances
2Provide patients convenient ways to not only pay their bills, but to pay them faster
3Offer a variety of payment options and leave paper behind
4Help providers ease their revenue cycle woes, including reducing days in A/R and simplifying collections
1Improving clarity about balances due
23% Today, 23% of patients think they pay what’s due in one month, according to our 2017 Patient Payment Check-Up™ survey, conducted by HIMSS Analytics. 
67% And 67% say they pay in full when asked to pay something at the time of service.
But providers experience something quite different.
52% of MGMA respondents say that it takes patients more than 3 months to pay their balance in full.
26% Meanwhile 26% of respondents from the Patient Payment Check-Up survey said it could take patients up to 6 months!
Providers know the benefit of providing cost estimates. Upfront estimates help patients know how much they owe, enabling them to make informed care decisions and initiate a conversation on how to pay with their provider.
79% of ambulatory organizations can provide cost estimates on request.
Of those:
77% can do so before the time of service19% can do so while patients are still in the office5% can do so after patient leaves the office, but before the bill is sent
Among those who aren’t currently able to provide patient estimates, 36% plan to do so within the next year.
Insight: Providers are actively working to deliver estimates to clarify what patients owe and meet patient demands.
2 Today, more patients want to satisfy their balances over time and online. MGMA members are offering a variety of ways to help.
27%
offer online bill payment via their portal or website
22%
can offer a payment plan or automatically charge a patient’s account each month via credit card on file (CCOF)
35%
allow patients to pay some of their bill at the time it’s requested, and the rest later
11%
offer a consumer healthcare credit line through a third party
Interestingly, our Patient Payment Check-Up survey indicates that 78% of patients would provide their credit card on file to be charged one time up to $200...
...yet only about a quarter (28%) of MGMA members are keeping credit card on file.
Insight: Embracing convenient digital payment options will help patients pay their bills faster…and patients agree!
3Offer a variety of payment options and leave paper behind
Providers know the benefit of providing cost estimates. Upfront estimates help patients know how much they owe, enabling them to make informed care decisions and initiate a conversation on how to pay with their provider.
Digital Payment Progress Report
Patient Payment Check-Up
Providers from both reports are now more interested in receiving payment from patients via traditional, manual processes like phone or mail. While both groups are starting to prefer digital payment methods, 77% of MGMA respondents and 89% of Patient Payment Check-Up respondents still send paper bills through the mail.
of patients prefer electronic billing and are overwhelmingly receptive to sharing their email address (79%) and cell phone numbers (72%) to facilitate digital payment processes.
Insight: The desire to offer convenient payment is still being hindered by paper processes, which slow down both staff and patient days in A/R.
4Helping providers improve revenue cycle woes
Respondents see digital payment options as a way to reduce a trifecta of revenue cycle woes. They believe:
Keeping a patient’s credit card on file to pay small balances under $200 can reduce:
Cost of collections (34%)
Days in patient A/R (34%)
Patient bad debt/write off (36%)
Automated payment plans can reduce:
Cost of collections (30%)
Days in patient A/R (34%)
Patient bad debt/write off (37%)
Online bill pay can reduce:
Cost of collections (14%)
Days in patient A/R (15%)
Patient bad debt/write off (8%)
22%
online bill pay
20%
CCOF
By comparison: That’s right in line with the Patient Payment Check-Up report, where 22% believe online bill pay and 20% believe CCOF are the best ways to reduce the cost of patient collections.
Insight: Providers see the valuable role digital payment plays in improving the overall revenue cycle.
The Digital Payment Progress Report of MGMA providers builds upon and overwhelmingly validates our 2017 Patient Payment Check-Up report, which surveyed both providers and patients and was conducted by HIMSS Analytics. Find out the key findings and discover how your organization can better embrace digital payment options to improve your revenue cycle.
Learn how Navicure® can help your organization improve patient satisfaction and patient revenue by providing automated price estimates and convenient payment options. Request a guided tour today.
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