Thank you for Subscribing to Life Science Review Weekly Brief
Many clinics are now accepting card, not present (CNP) payments, which are the same form of payment used by eCommerce sites such as Amazon. The patient can put credit card information into a digital gateway before or after their visit.
FREMONT, CA: When COVID-19 hit the United States, nearly every industry adjusted its payment and invoicing methods in response. On the other hand, healthcare had more pressing concerns, such as creating a unique disease, securing PPE and ventilators, and protecting overworked workers. Meanwhile, financial executives had to deal with a drop in revenue caused by patients postponing elective surgeries.
COVID-19 is far from over, but healthcare providers are starting to join the payment shift. Financial leaders have a chance to minimize administrative costs, increase cash flow, and provide a better patient experience.
Let's delve into some dominant trends in healthcare payments:
Contactless Payment Methods
In a conventional clinic, people check-in and out at a front desk. They pay their copayment with a credit card or cash and receive a printed statement in the mail a few days later. While the danger of COVID-19 transmission through paper is low, the in-clinic payment process requires patients to spend more time in close proximity to staff and each other. The paper bill also slows payments, which reduces financial flow.
Many clinics are now accepting card, not present (CNP) payments, which are the same form of payment used by eCommerce sites such as Amazon. The patient can put credit card information into a digital gateway before or after their visit. This information is safely maintained in the organization's database in their portal, and the patient may access it via a link in their invoice or bill for convenient payment.
Accounts Receivable (AR) Automation
Most healthcare providers still use a paper-based billing system. An AR team will use an ERP system such as Oracle, SAP, or Sage to send out invoices one at a time before mailing them. After the patient pays the invoice with a paper check or over the phone, another accounting staff manually enters the payments and uploads paperwork to reconcile them in the ERP system. The method is time-consuming, error-prone, and unsatisfying for accountants who could be doing more valuable analytical work.
Healthcare organizations are incorporating AR automation technologies (along with contactless payment methods) into their ERP systems to overcome this inefficiency. An AR automation tool, as the name suggests, generates an invoice automatically and sends it to the patient through email, text message, or both. The recipient clicks a link to pay with a credit card, digital wallet, ACH, or any other contactless mechanism supported by the supplier. When an invoice is paid digitally, the ERP system automatically reconciles it.