The Consumerization of Healthcare is Here; You Can’t Afford to Wait

Just ask any enterprise. When consumerization came to the office, companies were scrambling to keep up. From securing personal devices and self-serve apps, to retaining talent by offering the right experience, employees had more control than ever. The more operations fought (at the time) the unprecedented way of working, the more employees made their own decisions.

Healthcare’s in the same position now and should learn from the mistakes of the enterprise. Today’s patients demand more from their financial experiences — as well they should.

Meeting Expectations, Keeping up with Competition

For years, outdated patient billing technologies have delivered nothing more than one-dimensional, transactional experiences. Now, healthcare providers that don’t have patient/digital-first mentalities will be last when it comes to gaining patient loyalty.

The telehealth boom alone — 38x greater than before the pandemic —  has taken patient expectations to a new level. Add to this, the fact that affordability/standard healthcare pricing are the top priorities for patients according to HIMSS’ 2021 Future of Healthcare Report, and 80% of health systems plan to invest more in digital health overall.

Healthcare providers are in the perfect storm of trying to meet consumer-like expectations and keep up with the competition, all while delivering the best care possible. Patients are looking for personalized approaches, and this is magnified when it comes to their billing experience.

What a Consumer-like Patient Billing Experience Looks Like

In a recent podcast, Mac Boyter, healthcare industry expert and Research Director at KLAS Research, told VisitPay’s CMO, Will Reilly, “With the consumerization of healthcare, people expect an Amazon experience, where there is full transparency on goods prior to purchase, and where they can manage payments after.”

How does this translate to the patient billing experience?

  • Price transparency: Patients can shop around for medical procedure pricing, know what they owe, and make payment arrangements
  • Personalization: Flexible payment terms (duration, amount, rate), technology with intuitive interfaces that understand individual preferences and tailor communications accordingly
  • Convenience: Self-serve or staff supported payment; digital user registration or guest option; pay through text, portal, phone, mail, or in person

Patients need a digital-first, patient-first, platform that allows them to manage their current healthcare obligations, as well as predict and assess their future healthcare obligations to manage in advance.

At the same time, healthcare providers need a solution that serves these patient financial needs as well as their own. Plus, integration with other electronic health record (EHR) systems is a must.

You Can’t Afford to Wait

In the consumer world, 1 of 3 people would abandon a brand, even one they loved, after just one bad experience. Healthcare systems are now subjected to similar mindsets and can’t afford to wait.

As the consumerization of healthcare takes over, providers need a system built from the ground up with the patient in mind — a transparent, customized, intuitive system that focuses on patient financial engagement and patient satisfaction. And that’s not all.

Boyter said, “Technology is not a driver of satisfaction or even of outcomes in most cases. It’s technology paired with a pedigree of quality training and strong service routes alongside it.”

Yes, your EMR is a powerful tool, but not on its own. Read our white paper to learn how VisitPay brings not just a proven solution but also demonstrated expertise to the patient financial experience.

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