Survey shows significant impact of billing process on patients’ choice of provider

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Although traditional payment and communication methods remain relevant, the survey highlights a paradigm shift in patients' billing expectations overall.

This article first appeared on our sister site Medical Economics.

Patients' evolving expectations regarding the billing process used by providers were highlighted in a survey from Salucro Healthcare Solutions, a health care payment technology company.

Billing options are important to patients. ©Thanksforbuying - stock.adobe.com

Billing options are important to patients.

©Thanksforbuying - stock.adobe.com

The 2023 Patient Payment Technology Report surveyed more than 1500 US health care consumers, examining patient interactions with health care payment systems, encompassing consumer confidence, patient loyalty, financial preferences, and trust in technology and security.

Key findings from the report revealed significant trends in patient attitudes and behaviors:

  • 78% of patients: Consider the billing process somewhat or very important when selecting a healthcare provider.
  • 72% of patients: Trust their healthcare provider or partnered technology firms to handle their medical payment data.
  • 66% of patients: Prefer email or text message notifications for billing and payment reminders.
  • 53% of patients: Who had negative financial experiences with their providers, reported leaving negative reviews.

These insights highlight a paradigm shift in patient expectations, where health care financial experiences are increasingly benchmarked against standards set by consumer-focused sectors. Clayton Bain, founder and CEO of Salucro, said health care providers need to meet or exceed these evolving standards throughout the entire patient journey, from pre-service outreach to clinical care and final billing.

The report also emphasized the growing preference for digital payment methods, noting an 11% increase in demand for recurring payment plans since 2019. Contactless payments have doubled in popularity within two years, rising from 11% in 2021 to 22% in 2023. Patients also expressed interest in using digital wallets, PayPal, and Venmo, to settle medical bills if given the option.

Nevertheless, traditional payment and communication methods remain relevant, with 32% of patients preferring health care billing statements by mail and 27% opting to pay by check. This underscores the importance of a balanced approach to patient billing, accommodating various preferences and ensuring a seamless experience regardless of the chosen communication channel, according to the report.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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