The post-pandemic years haven’t been easy for anyone, and the hospitals are no exception. According to Eric Swanson’s National Hospital Flash Report, 2022 proved one of the worst financial years for hospitals and healthcare facilities. With remote work becoming a new norm, inflation and labor shortages soaring up, making some recent changes in payment methods is inevitable.
If you are a financial leader of a healthcare practice, it’s time to make your practice more client-friendly, and there is no other way to do that than to jump on the bandwagon of new payment trends.
In this article, we have provided you with 12 alternative healthcare payment trends that you can opt for and take your practice to the next level:
Trend No 1: Go Paperless
One trend that is most likely to hype up in the future is “paperless billing”, as it is one of the easiest ways to reduce costs. Many may not know this, but switching to paperless billing can save your practice lots of money. Here is how it works; A billing team mails 2 to 3 statements to every patient before payment collection.
The print and mail cost for every patient becomes too much. This expense can be reduced by delivering bills electronically. Paperless billing is a cost-effective billing option, and it’s high time you introduce it in your practice.
Trend No 2: Provide Payment Plans
According to statistics, about 75% of health insurance holders worry about financial hardships because of medical bills. The trend is when a consumer is forced to make difficult financial decisions, medical bills are the first unpaid debt. In this time of inflation, save your patients from medical bill debts and give them ease of payment plans. With payment plans, patients can manage large medical bills quickly and pay the owed charges with flexibility.
If you are a revenue cycle leader, then payment plans are an even more feasible option for you as they provide you with complete visibility of when the incoming payments are due.
Trend No 3: Optimize Your Revenue Cycle
In these times of inflation, finding a way to increase revenue is significant for all healthcare financial leaders. Not only this, but you must also develop ways to speed up the influx of funds, as that plays a decisive role in your revenue cycle management. Imagine receiving funds on the same day and how it would benefit your financial situation and make it easy for you to manage the funds more efficiently.
Trend No 4: Prevent Payment Fraud
Payers are naturally more attracted to options with no payment fraud risk. It is essential for payers to monitor all the processes involved in the payments and come up with ways to avoid fraud and threats. Keep up with the latest fraud trends and apply practices that help in preventing scams.
Trend No 5: Go Hybrid
Labour shortages are real and have impacted all industries, including the healthcare industry. For this, you need to develop an effective strategy where you can recruit and retain natural talent. After the pandemic, it has been proved that healthcare organizations that switched to work-from-home or hybrid models for revenue cycle and billings were more productive, reported lower burnout rates and had a greater talent pool. The pandemic is over, but you can still go hybrid, can’t you?
Trend No 6: Contactless Payments- Big Yes
It’s an open secret that contactless payments are preferred more by consumers, be it ApplyPay, Google Pay or contactless EMV. People find them more convenient, easy to use and fast than carrying cash with them. Make sure you choose the right payment partner and offer contactless payment options seamlessly to your consumers. Your vendor must be capable enough to understand the complexities of payments and healthcare industries.
Trend No 7: Self-Service Coupled with Automation
Self-funded aren’t easy to manage. You require extra staff and lots of manual work to take care of the spreadsheets and one-off communications. But worry not; you can imply self-service tools coupled with automation. This will give you a competitive edge over the employers, and you can naturally attract more clients.
Trend No 8: Prepare Yourself To Combat Security Risks
The contactless payment methods came in full swing during the covid-19 pandemic and increased interconnectivity. The healthcare industry also jumped on the digital bandwagon. Since there is a flip side to every coin, this also comes with many fraud threats. To protect patient and payment data, you must empower your team with the knowledge and tools required to combat cyber attacks and security risks.
Trend No 9: Focus On Resilience, Growth And Scalability
2023 is expected to bring many challenges for the healthcare industry, with a shrinking workforce and inflation. Your business must be well-equipped to handle everything, and the responsibility falls on the healthcare treasurer. So make sure you work with a partner that has a thorough understanding of strategic goals and can change the fate of your treasury.
Trend No 10: Reduce Reconciliation Costs
Like most practices, if you have too many vendors for payment processes, you are more likely to spend lots of money on reconciliation issues. Consider having one partner only, as that will help in vendor management and save lots of time and cost spent otherwise on reconciling payments.
Trend No 11: Bridge The Gap Between Members And Premiums
It has been recorded that half of the health plan premiums are paid timely, whereas, for the other half of payments, members often need to inquire upon call. This puts burdens on the financial teams. To skip this and provide your consumers with a better experience, ensure you come up with a way to bridge the gap between members and their missing premiums—hint: Electronic payments.
Trend No 12: Make Informed Decisions
As a healthcare industry leader, you cannot afford to stay behind as the industry is progressing at a light’s speed introducing newer technologies, going contactless and whatnot. You can only stay ahead of the game if you are aware of the latest trends, which leads you to informed decisions and can also pave the way to achieving your strategic goals.