The World of Healthcare Billing
A recent article from Advance Healthcare Network highlighted some of the issues that exist in the world of healthcare billing and offered a number of specific areas where healthcare companies can focus their energy to create a better experience for patients.
This article demonstrates how no solution exists in a vacuum. But that just means looking for a single cure-all is a waste of time. The most salient recommendation for making the billing process more customer friendly is to provide practical payment options.
Consider Your Payment Channels
When it comes to the actual payment process there are a lot of different options that healthcare companies can offer to patients. Here’s the kicker though: in order to deliver a truly exceptional customer experience companies have to offer payment options through every channel.
Big companies with lots of customers need to be able to cater to all their customers’ preferences. Picking one or two channels means longer remittance times and having less cash-flow available. If the goal is to process more payments, faster, then limiting payment options runs counter to that goal.
Advantages of Voice
For this reason, adding or upgrading your voice payment channel warrants serious consideration. One of the benefits that voice offers is familiarity; it may not be as ‘sexy’ as paying online, but it’s a trusted and reliable communications medium. That counts for something, especially when it comes to ease of use.
Customers may not want to have to create an account or remember yet another login and password, but everyone knows how to work a phone. And while not everyone may have easy internet access, virtually everyone has access to a phone.
Another thing to consider when offering a phone payment option is that nowadays the PSTN is all digital anyway, which means no one channel is inherently ‘easier’ to use than another one when it comes to backend processes.
Going with an IVR solution when offering payments over the phone makes a lot of sense as well.
- First, removing humans from payment transactions reduces the risk of fraud. That’s not an indictment of anyone’s employees. But eliminating even the temptation makes voice a better alternative to having agents manually process payments.
- Second, while on the topic of security, Plum’s platform is both PCI and HIPAA compliant, making it easy to deliver the type of data protection that customers–and outside oversight bodies–want.
- Third, an IVR is a whole lot cheaper than using agents. For rote processes like payments, use an IVR so your agents can handle more complex issues that require human intervention.
As healthcare companies seek to create a better, simpler customer experience when it comes to bill collections, it pays–literally–to provide customers/patients with bill pay options that fit their needs. Adding an over-the-phone payment option is a cost-effective way to process payments quickly while giving customers a reliable, familiar communications medium.