Technology & Changes in Self-Pay

There are huge strides being made every day in the ways hospitals and other medical facilities treat patients. But even outside of the operating rooms, technological advancements are changing the ways hospitals are interacting with their patients. Even the smallest technologies—the ones we take for granted every day—can leave a big impact on your patients.

PayPal & PayPal Credit

PayPal might be best known as the preferred way to pay for purchases on eBay, but it’s come a long way. Transferring money between friends and family—it’s become our modern day Western Union. But now, many hospitals and their accounts receivable partners are implementing PayPal and PayPal’s credit service into their payment methods. This means that patients no longer have to go to a physical location in order to make a payment on their account. Instead, they can simply visit a secure website, log into their PayPal account, and make a payment with whichever card or account they prefer. It’s easy, and lets patients take care of a payment in minutes.

Auto Debit

Perhaps one of the greatest developments in money transfer technology is the ability to set up automatic payments. It’s saved all of us from late fees, and gives us the freedom to think about other things instead of that nagging feeling of whether or not we’ve paid a bill on time. Turns out, it’s great for hospitals, too.

If patients find that their total amount owed is larger than what they can pay in a lump sum, they may work to set up a payment plan with the hospital. Now, they can simply turn on a recurring payment and no longer need to worry about when their payment is going through. Standardization and automation make everything a little easier.

Chat/Instant Messaging

Simply put, many people—especially first time patients—don’t know or understand the process for making payments. It doesn’t matter how similar it is to other payment processing, the added medical aspect of it simply creates confusion. This means the patients often have questions and other concerns about their accounts. And many people are hesitant to pick up the phone to call when they have a question for fear of running into an automated phone menu.

Many businesses, both inside the medical field and out, have set up proactive chat features on their websites. You’ve probably seen them: they pop up after a person has spent so long on a site without interacting, and simply says, “Have a question? I’m here to help.” If they click on it, they’re able to chat directly with a real human who can answer their questions. This helps patients quickly and easily solve any problems they’re having, which helps them make payments more efficiently, which helps hospitals close the revenue cycle more fluidly.

Closing your revenue cycle is important. If your hospital is experiencing difficulties with self-pay, consider enlisting a partner to help you run your accounts receivable department. Contact HCM today.


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