How payment technology is making healthcare more convenient for providers and patients

Medical debt has plagued the United States, leaving providers and patients searching for answers. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Americans owe at least $195 billion in medical debt, despite over 90% of the population having insurance coverage. The share of medical debt in collections exceeds student loans, car loans and credit card debt and is almost superior to these three categories combined.

Not only is this a financial issue, but it often leads patients to avoid the care they need from providers.

I spoke with Rectangle Health CEO Dominick Colabella to learn more about the financial relationship between practices and patients. For nearly 30 years, Health Rectangle has offered technology solutions that provide a bridge between patients and providers, improving the overall experience, while generating revenue for healthcare practices and organizations.

Gary Drenik: Can you give us an overview of what billing looks like from a provider and patient perspective? What are the pain points on each side?

Dominique Colabella: Billing has always been difficult for both provider and patient, as many healthcare practices continue to struggle to get paid for care by not offering convenient payment options. Many providers still send invoices by mail, so they wait longer to be paid for their services. Patients tend to ignore these paper statements, preferring electronic communications and digital payments. According to a recent Thrive Insights & Analytics Survey, more than half of all consumers (51.3%) use PayPal. This type of digital technology is particularly prevalent among younger patients, as 89.2% of Gen-Z and 88.2% of Millennials report using at least one mobile payment app.

In our experience, providers who offer digital options benefit from smoother processes that benefit both the practice and the patient. Practices are seeing a positive trend in their accounts receivable as payments become easier to capture and capture, reducing processing time for open or unpaid invoices.

Digital payments offer patients convenient options – before care, at the time of the appointment or after care. And when we make it easier for patients to pay, they tend to do it more frequently and on time.

Drenik: We’ve seen the “buy now, pay later” retail trend enter the healthcare space and ease the burden of upfront costs. What was adoption like and what were the effects of this concept?

Colabella: The adoption of Buy Now, Pay Later in healthcare has generated both relief and excitement from providers and patients. When practices can offer patient financing and flexible payment plans, financial limits no longer define the quality of a patient’s care. Buy now, pay later has been used extensively in the retail space, and it’s popular among younger consumers. 35.1% of Gen-Z and 41.3% of Millennials use this approach at least occasionally, according to the Thrive Insights & Analytics Investigation. These are the patients who often avoid medical care because of the cost.

With our Take care now, pay laterSM patient funding program, we enable patients to afford the timely care they need. At Rectangle Health, our vision is that “healthy practices make healthy patients”. Our Care Now, Pay Later financing solution helps us achieve this for our customers and their patients by overcoming some of the financial barriers facing the healthcare industry today.

Drenik: How can practices improve the patient experience with technology?

Colabella: Technology can improve the patient experience by making it easier for them to consume healthcare in a contemporary way. This can include sending a simple text message reminder about an upcoming appointment, allowing them to complete online forms from the comfort of their home, or make mobile payments on the go with just a tap of a button. a button. Digital tools give patients the freedom to fit care more comfortably into their busy schedules.

It also helps practices. This reduces the burden on administrative staff, so they don’t have to make multiple phone calls about appointments, process onboarding and registration paperwork onsite, or track down payments after the fact.

Drenik: Patients seem to want to take a more active role in how they receive care. A study shows that online reviews are the most important factor when booking a new supplier. What tools do providers have to make themselves attractive to potential patients?

Colabella: As consumers continue to embrace technology, the healthcare industry must also evolve. Online reviews are the new word of mouth. The use of modern conveniences such as Text to Pay, QR codes, online registration forms and digital appointments help retain existing patients, while attracting younger audiences. Giving the patient a positive experience increases the likelihood of a positive review, which builds the practice’s online credibility. Today, a high number of stars could very well be the difference in winning a new patient.

Drenik: How else can practices benefit from the implementation of new technologies?

Colabella: In many cases, it’s the same benefit that patients cite: convenience. Instead of waiting for checks to be posted, firms can collect and post payments with just a few clicks. Rather than manually entering information into a system from a clipboard, administrative staff can integrate data that the patient has already provided online. Time-consuming phone calls can also be replaced with technology. Instead of receiving someone’s voicemail, a practice can send an SMS reminder about an appointment and get a response when the patient’s time is right. As healthcare practices continue to face staffing shortages, making everyday life easier also helps retain hardworking employees in the office. Automation frees up office managers and staff to deliver elevated patient experiences, rather than getting bogged down in tedious manual tasks. Decades in healthcare have also taught us that when providers don’t have to worry about the business side of healthcare, they can focus more on delivering the highest quality care.

Adding technology can solve the administrative burden problem that has plagued the healthcare industry. According to McKinsey, about $1 trillion of the $4 trillion spent annually on health care is attributed to administrative costs. Practices can create efficiencies for their offices and attract new patients by using these handy tools.

Drenik: Dominick, thank you for giving us such valuable insight into the tools available to help the healthcare industry. We often see results driven by the bottom line, but technology can change what that bottom line looks like for practices and patients by providing more convenience for everyone.

About Miley Sawngett

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