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Consumers Want Online Ease for Healthcare Payments, Report Finds

June 13, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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A new report on the most recent trends in healthcare payments has revealed that consumers are demanding more from healthcare and that paper is hurting all industry stakeholders.

The report from InstaMed, which processes tens of billions of dollars in healthcare payments annually via its network, is the seventh annual one of its kind. It found that 92 percent of consumers want to know payment responsibility prior to a provider visit; 74 percent of consumers are confused by explanation of benefits (EOBs) and medical bills; and 73 percent of providers reported that it takes one month or longer to collect from patients. Indeed, overall, consumers are demanding more from healthcare, according to the report.

Further, omnichannel payments are impacting healthcare, the findings showed. Some 68 percent of consumers prefer electronic payment methods to pay their medical bills, and 80 percent of consumers prefer online payment channels to pay their health plan premiums. Twenty percent of respondents said that their online healthcare payments are made on a mobile device.

To this end, paper is hurting all healthcare stakeholders, the report’s authors attested.  The data revealed that 86 percent of consumers receive paper medical bills; 88 percent of providers report receiving paper checks and explanation of payment (EOPs) from one or more of their payers; and 85 percent of providers prefer electronic remittance advice/ electronic funds transfer payments.

It’s no surprise that healthcare data is more under attack than ever before, and this report found that 90 percent of providers think that payment security is very important when collecting patient payments, while 59 percent of consumers have significant concerns regarding the security of making payments for both their medical bills and health plan premiums.

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