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COVID-19 is far from being over, but the transformation of payments is starting to include healthcare providers. Financial executives have the ability to reduce operating costs, speed up cash flow and improve customer service.
Fremont, CA: Almost every industry changed its payment and invoicing processes in response after COVID-19 hit the U.S. However, healthcare had more significant problems to think about, such as treating a novel illness, obtaining PPE and ventilators, and shielding overworked workers. Meanwhile, when patients delayed elective treatments, financial executives needed to handle a drop in sales.
Here are three key trends in healthcare payments:
Vendors with integrated payments
Your vendor (or its rivals) could have started accepting cards and ACH payments if you use practice management or sales cycle management tools, which is a recent trend. Today, independent software vendors (ISVs) are working with payment facilitators to deliver automated payments, such as the practice management or sales cycle management platform. For both the ISV and you, their client, this technique has benefits.
ISVs can bring added value to medical practices by incorporating payments into their healthcare platforms, providing the opportunity to make payments simpler for patients easily.
For instance, ISVs also incorporate payments in thoughtful ways by building them into the same dashboard patients use to book appointments, check test results, message providers, etc. The outcome is often a better patient user experience, lower technology costs for the company, and shorter payment cycles.
Contactless payment methods
Many hospitals are now introducing card not present (CNP) payments, the same payment method used for Amazon's eCommerce sites. The patient may input credit card details into a digital portal prior to or during their visit. This information is safely stored in the company's database in its portal and can be accessed by the patient for easy payment through a connection in their invoice or bill.
Clinics can choose to accept CNP payments from digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal to make payments even easier. These services store credit card information from users, so patients do not need to re-enter it into your portal. That improves the likelihood of patients paying quickly and feeling like the experience was hassle-free.
Clinics that charge patients with costly treatments will also choose to provide ACH payments because the cost for obtaining an ACH payment is considerably lower than that for accepting cards.
CNP, digital wallet transfers, and ACH transactions are all touch-free and do not need to be made inside the clinic. These new payment methods will help you keep workers and patients safer by decreasing foot traffic and congestion while providing the modern payment methods patients have come to expect. And you can speed up payment times and tighten your payment protection by providing an alternative to paper checks or passing card data over the phone.
Accounts receivable (AR) automation
Providers of healthcare are incorporating AR automation technologies into their ERP (in addition to contactless payment methods). An AR automation tool automatically produces an invoice and delivers it to the patient via email, text message, or both. To pay by card, digital wallet, ACH, or whatever contactless alternative the provider allows, the receiver clicks a connection. If the invoice is digitally charged, the ERP device automatically reconciles it.
Without any human contact or interference, the entire invoicing process will happen. If a patient forgets to pay, somebody will usually call the patient or email a set of reminders in AR or collections. Invoice automation systems can be configured to automatically notify patients of bills before they are due and, when they are due, send reminders (or notification of late fees).
It's crucial to find one that is built into your payment network or easily combined with it when selecting an AR automation platform. Similarly, both payment and AR automation systems need to play with your ERP device nicely.