Third annual finance report surveys patient payment trends and preferences against the backdrop of a global pandemic
Boise, Idaho — June 2, 2021 — VisitPay, the leader in patient financial engagement, has released the 2021 edition of the annual VisitPay Report, an examination of today’s patient financial needs and forecast for the future.
The report brings together data to illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be the catalyst for the necessary and long-awaited digital transformation of healthcare, resulting in higher consumer expectations with regards to digital options, financing, and transparency — and a deeper onus on health systems to continue to deliver.
“Our latest report further underscores the importance of flexibility and convenience when it comes to patient payments,” said VisitPay Co-founder and CEO Kent Ivanoff. “As the pandemic forced consumers to scrutinize their finances and prioritize which bills to pay, it’s become clear that health systems must offer flexible, tailored payment options to help patients manage medical bills in ways most convenient to them.”
Patients Pick Digital
Among other trends, VisitPay’s proprietary research uncovers a significant three-year shift to digital financial engagement between patients and providers. For instance:
- Preference for paper statements has declined over 20% from 2019 to 2021.
- Patient usage of the VisitPay platform from a mobile device has increased 250% since 2016.
Findings on Financing
The survey also explores patient financing preferences and the role that payment flexibility plays in bill pay.
- Patients are now twice as likely to use health system payment plans to manage medical bills compared to 2019.
- 37% use credit cards to pay for medical bills. 22% dip into their savings.
- Among those using credit cards to finance medical debt, three-quarters do so for multiple months.
- 2021 saw a 100% increase in patients obtaining cost estimates prior to care since 2019.
About the Study
To understand consumer needs, motivations, and behaviors and to propose a solution for a financial experience that creates better outcomes for patients and providers, VisitPay launched its third annual online national survey in November 2020. There were 1,661 survey completions, adults aged 18 and older. The survey sample was representative of the U.S. population based on age, income, and ethnicity.
To qualify for participation in healthcare finance benchmarking questions, participants had to have paid for medical care for themselves or a dependent in the previous twelve months. Sixty-six percent of total survey respondents, or 1,096 people, were guarantors. To provide general feedback on COVID, the prior restriction was lifted. Due to qualification criteria, the participant sample skewed slightly female (54%).
Founded in 2010, VisitPay is the leader in patient financial engagement. The company’s third-generation cloud-based platform is used by the nation’s largest and most innovative health systems to deliver transparency, choice, and control to patients managing healthcare payments and transactions. Through VisitPay, patients can access a comprehensive accounting of their financial obligations, as well as critical health plan and healthcare information, via a health system-branded portal. VisitPay’s proprietary analytics tailor consistent and fully compliant financing options that meet the unique needs of patients and their families, creating a simplified billing experience that drives both higher payment rates and improved patient satisfaction scores. VisitPay’s investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Flare Capital Partners, and Ascension Ventures.
Highwire PR for VisitPay