The ongoing impact of Covid-19 combined with changing consumer behavior is causing healthcare providers to rethink their digital payment strategies.

Although safety and convenience are mainly driving the use of digital payments, patients as consumers are demanding more than what they currently get from online payment experiences from their healthcare providers.

With digitally native millennials and Gen Z members making up over half of the US population, consumer expectations are expected to rapidly evolve in the future.

The world is going through an unprecedented period due to the spread of Covid-19. The need for social distancing has brought contactless payments at the forefront of our payment experience.

Healthcare has long struggled to modernize and create retail-like patient experiences. Many health systems rely on legacy channels to communicate with patients and collect payments. Medical bills are sent by mail prompting patients to pay by mailing a check or calling their provider’s office to make a payment over the phone.

While healthcare organizations are still in the era of paper and manual processes, patients are well into the age of digital payments. Patients are clamoring for better ways to pay their healthcare bills.

The pandemic has now become the catalyst that has fueled changes that have been badly needed for years. Trends like contactless payments and text-to-pay are now coming to the forefront and becoming necessities.

It’s time for healthcare facilities to innovate and rethink historical ways of doing business.

Digital trends in the COVID-19 landscape

With more financial responsibility for their healthcare, patients are increasingly demanding better service. They want to analyze different options and choose what’s best for their situation.

They want quicker and more convenient payment options.

In the era of consumerism, ignoring consumer demands could have dire consequences – damage to an organization’s brand, lost patients or members, and ultimately revenue.

Next generation bill pay offering incorporates personalized guidance and alerts that enhance the overall payment experience for consumers. Modern customer expectations revolve around three key questions:

  • How can bill pay be made simpler?
  • How can bill pay be made smarter?
  • How can bill pay be made faster?

With those in mind, here’s how your healthcare facility can transform its digital pay offerings:

  1. Contactless Payments

Even before the pandemic, contactless payments were already a widely used payment method. But now, healthcare facilities see them as essential as consumers are increasingly wary of using keypads or touchscreen surfaces that are being used by the public.

A recent survey by Mastercard reveals how the pandemic has spurred the adoption of contactless payment technology:

  • 77% view contactless as the cleaner way to pay
  • 51% of US consumers say they are now using contactless payments
  • 56% state they will continue to use contactless payment post-pandemic

MasterCard has witnessed a surge of 40% in the contactless payments in the first quarter of the year.

  1. Text-to-pay Solutions

For many consumers, text or SMS payments serve as a convenient contactless way to pay as 97% of Americans use their mobile phone’s texting feature at least once a day (Pew Research Center).

Sending bills and reminders of payments via texts can result in a 40 percent boost in payments, one medical services expert noted.

But there are other unique benefits in using text-to-pay in a healthcare setting.

  • Reduce PCI scope and reliance on hardware because text-to-pay solutions turn a patient’s smartphone into a payment device.
  • Reduce the risk of human error (e.g. employees typing a patient’s credit card information over the phone)
  • Text-to-pay can be used to facilitate card-on-file payment agreements, set-up payment plans, and apply for financing options.
  • By capturing patient information and consent at point-of-service using text-to-pay, health systems enable digital-first billing with patients receiving their bills right after their scheduled visit rather than waiting for mail.

Within the text, patients also have the option of contacting customer service representatives or patient financial advocates who can explain their charges and help regarding their medical bills.

  1. Digital billing and online patient portals

Digital bill pay and online patient portals make it easier for patients to manage their financial responsibility – to pay their bills in full, set up a payment plan, or choose from a variety of financing options. Adopting online patient portals and digital billing makes more patient-centric, convenient care experiences.

Digital billing systems also improve the patient experience by streamlining bill pay, making the process more convenient using tools that patients use every day.

  • Communicate patient financial responsibility via email or text or alerts
  • Provide patients with a way to pay their bills in one-click
  • Offer more flexibility with multiple payment options, ability to set-up payment plans, access financing options, or charity care.

Patients go to their online portal and receive an email/text and all they must do is click one button and it explains to them what that bill is for, how much it is, and how to make a payment.

Mnet Provides Digital Tools to Help Patients Pay 

With healthcare consumerism, the new battleground is the patient experience.

Mnet helps you deliver best-in-class payment experience for your patients looking for smarter, simpler, and faster ways to pay their bills. With PaySuite, Mnet offers a full suite of digital tools to reinvent your digital pay offering.

Your facility gets custom branded:

Your patients get:

  • Online & mobile bill pay
  • Self-help payment plans & financing options
  • Customer phone support with multi-lingual agents

With the influx of digitally native patients and COVID-related acceleration towards digital, now is the pivotal moment for healthcare facilities to make their payment experience more innovative and engaging for patients.

About Mnet Health

We believe every patient deserves a helpful, transparent, easy-to-navigate financial experience in healthcare. Mnet is the premier revenue cycle management & technology provider to the surgical industry. Mnet provides customized patient-pay solutions to surgical hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Mnet Health partners with over 900 surgical facilities nationwide and is the preferred vendor to the leading ASC management companies in the US both directly with and in support of centralized billing offices.

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