Providers Plan to Meet Patient Consumerism Rise, Survey Finds | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Providers Plan to Meet Patient Consumerism Rise, Survey Finds

October 24, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints
“Patients truly are the new payers,” says Black Book’s managing partner

The new era of patient payment technology has put more demands on healthcare providers today, but most of them plan to meet the rise in patient consumerism with more retail-like technology solutions and practices, according to a new Black Book report.

Black Book announced key findings from its 2017 revenue cycle management surveys, deployed from a research study designed to trend consumer satisfaction and patient experiences, as well as uncover payment challenges and strategies for healthcare provider organizations.

Indeed, the new era of patient payment technology demands more financing options, engaging patients early, analyzing consumers' propensity to pay, managing expectations, and genuine cost transparency, researchers found. But 83 percent of surveyed providers plan to meet the rise in patient consumerism with more retail-like technology solutions and practices, according to the survey results.

Black Book conducted two sets of focused polls in the second and third quarters of this year with both patients and providers. The combined surveys included nearly 2,700 providers and a focused group of 850 healthcare consumers with high deductible health plans. Consumer panel surveys aimed to determine how patient responsibility for medical costs, which shifted from employers to patients, is impacting uncollected provider revenue. Researchers found that since 2015, patients have experienced a 29 percent increase in both deductible and out-of-pocket maximum costs, with an average deductible for consumers this year averaging $1,820 and out-of-pocket costs rising to over $4,400.

Meanwhile, survey findings include responses from nearly 1,600 physician practices, 202 hospitals and 49 health systems revealed that profit margins continue to be impacted negatively by traditional collection solutions, steering 82 percent of medical providers and 92 percent of hospitals to jettison time-intensive, error-prone, manual efforts to back end process and reconcile bills by Q4 2018. With millions of dollars of unpaid medical bills, many providers are instituting new processes and technologies to recover the monies owed them. 

"Employing these solutions at the front end of the revenue cycle has given patient risk to providers and the attention has turned to establishing funding mechanisms to benefit not only the hospital or physician, but the consumer," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book. "Patients truly are the new payers."

Results also determined in the first half of 2017, nearly 62 percent of medical bills were paid online and 95 percent of consumers polled would pay online if the provider's website had the option. And, 71 percent of patients also reveal that mobile pay and billing alerts have improved their actual satisfaction with the provider. "For providers, that brings faster posting and collection of payments without manual processing errors," added Brown.

Guest pay (allowing spouses, family members, friends, attorneys and others to pay your bills without accessing your medical record) is also improving consumer satisfaction; 59 percent of consumers attribute the convenience and simplicity of online payments without the hassles of registration and passwords.

Brown concluded, "Emerging healthcare pay trends reveal the opportunity to help patients better anticipate, manage and track the costs of their care. Innovative patient-friendly payment solutions that

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.

Report: Healthcare Accounted for 45% of All Ransomware Attacks in 2017

Healthcare fell victim to more ransomware attacks than any other industry in 2017, according to a new report from global cybersecurity insurance company Beazley.

Study: Use of EHRs Does Not Reduce Administrative Costs

A recent study by Duke University and Harvard Business School researchers found that costs for processing a single bill ranged from $20 for a primary care visit to $215 for an inpatient surgical procedure, or up to 25 percent of revenue.

Kibbe to Step Down as CEO of DirectTrust

David Kibbe, M.D., M.B.A., announced he would step down as president and CEO of DirectTrust at the end of the year.