Salucro’s 2021 Patient Payment Technology Report highlights how both patient billing accuracy and the financial experience can drastically impact a patient’s loyalty to their healthcare provider, along with speed to payment, with 65% of patients stating they’ll pay their balances faster if their billing preferences are used.
PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Salucro Healthcare Solutions, a leading healthcare payment technology company, today released the results of its 2021 Patient Payment Technology Report, a follow-up to the company’s 2019 report designed to measure the degree that the patient payment and billing experience impacts brand loyalty and patient turnover. The full report can be downloaded on salucro.com.
In a survey of 1,095 U.S. healthcare consumers the report highlights that, even amidst rapid development of digital patient engagement in response to COVID-19, the patient financial experience continues to have a monumental impact on a patient’s loyalty to their healthcare provider, and the increasingly high standards from consumers around their provider’s billing process remains an area in need of ongoing improvement for healthcare providers. Now more than ever, patients feel comfortable with online payments as shown by a 72% decrease in those who said they would refuse to pay bills online when compared to 2019 results. But paired with that willingness comes high expectations for a quality financial experience. When those expectations aren’t met, healthcare providers experience increased collection costs and ultimately patient turnover due to a variety of negative financial experiences, including:
- 64% of respondents said they were charged incorrectly or didn’t know what they were charged for.
- 49% of respondents said that the billing and payment process was difficult and unorganized.
- Limited self-service capabilities requiring contact with customer service instead of confirming their payment online or via text happened to 29% of patients.
- 27% of patients said that payment options were not flexible, or they needed a longer payment plan or financing term.
- A significant delay in receiving a bill following a healthcare visit occurred for 27% of respondents.
- Main payment form wasn’t accepted for 23% of patients.
“For decades, a fixture of healthcare in the United States has been a patient’s ability to choose – from their primary physician to their insurance plans – and it’s paramount to mirror that flexibility of care throughout the patient financial experience,” said Clayton Bain, Salucro Founder and CEO. “COVID-19 introduced unique challenges to the patient experience around the globe, and healthcare providers were quick to adapt by increasing access to digital engagement channels through tactics like telehealth. But too often we see the patient experience fall off when it comes to billing and payments, with 50% of surveyed patients stating that their last billing encounter was bumpy, painful, or confusing. With 65% of patients saying that they would pay their balances faster if their preferences were used, payment and financial engagement preferences cannot be ignored.”
While patients flagged issues such as incorrect bills and ease of payment as barriers that they’ve faced, similar to our 2019 survey, patients also highlighted unique digital experiences that would influence whether they would choose to return to a particular healthcare provider, including:
- Digital pre-appointment forms to streamline the check-in experience (55%).
- Offering an online bill-pay platform (53%).
- The ability to choose between print and mailed statements vs. digitally delivered statements (44%).
- The option to engage with a provider on a mobile device, including text-to-pay, mobile payments, etc. (35%).
- Offering of contactless payments at the point-of-service (19%).
“Healthcare providers have taken great care to ensure a quality clinical experience for patients, but when that attention to detail doesn’t follow through to the billing experience there can be a profound impact on patient loyalty,” said Rebecca Truscott, Senior Vice President of Strategy for Salucro. “Ensuring that patients are provided a quality, personalized experience from pre-service, to the point of care, and through the entire post-service billing process will be key to the success of healthcare providers as digital-native brands like Amazon and Microsoft begin to enter the healthcare space, offering the more engaging experience that consumers have come to expect.”
Salucro is a healthcare financial technology company exclusively focused on patient payments and billing. From online bill pay solutions to provider-facing payment integrations, the Salucro platform brings cohesive payment experiences to healthcare providers, patients, and third-party collection agencies. As a PCI DSS Level 1 Service Provider, Salucro belongs to an elite group of organizations worldwide that have earned HITRUST CSF Certified status, proving Salucro’s continued commitment to managing risk and improving payment security and compliance. To learn more, visit salucro.com.
Natalie Moore • Marketing Director, Salucro