Digital billing and online payment portals offer greater opportunity to collect patient revenue faster.
Various market forces are driving the revenue cycle for clinical labs increasingly online, including:
- Consumer preferences for banking and transacting online
- Dual benefits of digital billing:
- Improved payment rates from reduced complexity
- Reduced costs related to manually posting, tracking, and reconciling payments and statements by mail
To manage the shift, labs will need to rely more on automation and more interactive, self-serve modes of collection in the revenue cycle.
A Majority of Consumers Prefer Transacting Online
The pandemic accelerated the pace of adoption for online transactions.
A 2021 World Banking Report showed that 55% of consumers prefer mobile banking apps to monitor their finances, which was up from 47% before the pandemic. Much in the same way that mobile banking apps offer consumers convenience, visibility and control, online medical billing applications do the same for patients.
In fact, according to a study by US Bank, consumers want more options to pay their medical bills digitally. More than a third (37%) want an option to pay their medical bills through an online portal with just less than a third (32%) specifically seeking a mobile payment app. In the study, consumers expressed the belief that digital billing is easier to use with more than half saying “they prefer the ease and safety of contactless, digital payment methods when paying for their care.”
Two Birds with One Stone: Digital Billing Improves Payment Rates and Reduces Rev Cycle Cost
To be clear, digital billing must be executed well. Confusing and unfriendly payment methods are a leading driver of non-payment. This is true regardless of the format of the bill. However, digital billing and online payment portals offer greater opportunity to simplify the process and facilitate easy payment to a patient’s satisfaction allowing them to pay what they can, when they can, from anywhere. Online payment portals empower patients to manage their healthcare accounts with features, such as:
- Self-serve payments, including by credit card and ACH
- Payment plan enrollment, including automatic recurring payments
- Control over communication preferences, including e-statements
- Intuitive, secure, and user-friendly interfaces
- Ability to manage insurance and demographic information
- Saved payment methods for future payments
- Links to financial assistance information
Patient responsibility for medical bills is on the rise, which not only dramatically increases the number of payment sources for any lab, it reduces the likelihood of getting paid. A 2017 TransUnion study found that “68% of patients with bills of $500 or less did not pay off the full balance..,” and more than half of patients delayed payment because they were confused by the bill and believed their insurance would pay for it.
Conversely, when patients have access to online payment portals, payment rates improve. Data collected from RevSpring shows :
Patients are 21% more likely to pay when digital options are available
Patients pay 7 days faster on average with digital delivery
52% of payments made directly from a text message come within 24 hours of sending
Patients want to transact online and healthcare is no exception. Fortunately for labs, working with an expert revenue cycle partner like Quadax to implement an online payment portal speeds up and simplifies the process, generating net benefits from improved cash flow and increased payment rates. Ready to make patient responsibility easy for you and your clients? Request a strategy call here.
Let’s take on the revenue cycle together!