5 reasons to accept online patient payments

The rise of consumerism in healthcare is driving providers to evaluate their tactics to collect healthcare payments. While providers previously relied almost exclusively on payer payments for their revenue, patient responsibility is increasing as a portion of provider revenue. In order to collect more from patients and reduce administrative costs, providers need to offer more convenient, consumer-friendly payment options, such as online payments.

According to the 2011 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report, online patient payments have tripled since 2009.  If you don’t offer your patients online payments today, here are the top five reasons why you should:

1. Increase payments
While providers rely on patients for an increasing portion of their revenue, they face challenges with collecting, as providers wrote off an estimated $65 billion in patient bad debt in 2010, as reported in McKinsey Quarterly. Offering your patients an easy way to pay you online will enable you to collect more and reduce your bad debt.

2. Accelerate payments
After a patient visit, providers frequently do not receive patient payments for weeks or even months.  By allowing your patients to pay you online immediately after receiving their statements, you will get paid faster and decrease your days in A/R.

3. Reduce administrative costs
On average, a provider’s costs to collect from patients are three to five times greater than the costs to collect from payers, due to the need for multiple paper statements and follow-up with patients.  You can significantly reduce these costs by accepting online payments to streamline the billing process.

4. Improve patient satisfaction
According to the 2011 Fiserv Consumer Trends Survey, online bill payments now account for 50 percent of all consumer bill payments.  Many of your patients are accustomed to paying bills online and will enjoy having a more convenient way to pay their healthcare bills.

5. Streamline processes
By integrating online payments with your practice management system, you can automatically post and reconcile all payments in the same place to reduce administrative time and costs.

Published with permission from InstaMed.