Healthcare Providers and the Transition to a Digital World

Posted by Wayne Brown on 01 Feb 2017

Due to the complexities of the industry, it’s often challenging for healthcare providers to make the transition to an increasingly digital world. Healthcare costs continue to soar for reasons ranging from federal legislation to higher equipment and service expenses. Furthermore, outdated technology can be a source of frustration for practitioners and patients alike. Mounting expenses, outdated technology, and a lack of convenient service options can combine to negatively impact patient satisfaction and ultimately hurt a healthcare provider’s bottom line.

Healthcare is becoming more of a business than ever before, leading patients to behave more like consumers. Many insurance plans push increased costs from providers to patients. Expensive advertising for pharmaceuticals and specialized care also contribute to higher medical costs, which are passed on to patients as well. As a result, more patients are shopping around for health insurance plans and options that best align with their needs, making the entire industry more competitive. Patients also expect to receive more value from healthcare providers as their personal financial responsibility for medical care increases.

It’s important that providers make a concerted effort to retain patients amid soaring costs and increased competition. Technology can give providers that are struggling with administrative excess and decreased patient satisfaction the opportunity to level the playing field. For example, an electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) solution can help providers deliver a modern bill payment experience to patients.

Once a patient leaves a provider, collecting payments can become a challenge. An EBPP solution allows for better electronic communication with patients after the point of service while consolidating all payments activities into a single platform. This not only creates more stickiness between patients and providers but can also help increase patient satisfaction. Conveniences like modern payment channels (Pay by Text, Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa, etc.), the ability to save funding methods and enroll in AutoPay, and proactive electronic communication (text messaging, email, etc.) can also increase a provider’s likelihood of receiving payments on time, thereby improving cash flow.

Patients are likely to continue facing higher out-of-pocket medical expenses as healthcare costs increase. In today’s economic climate, there are many factors outside of a provider’s control that impact the overall patient experience. The payments process, however, is one area where healthcare providers can make cost-effective improvements that increase patient engagement and satisfaction.

*This blog was edited for clarity in 2020.

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Wayne Brown Director of Business Development Wayne develops and manages business relationship at Alacriti. He brings over 25 years of financial services experience and worked with Metavante Corporation, Deutsche Bank, and MasterCard Worldwide before joining Alacriti. Wayne holds a B.B.A in Finance from Baruch College.

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