In the modern day and age, bills are paid online. From car insurance to college tuition, online payment portals have become the best way to facilitate bill pay options. Even stodgy old landlords have allowed their property managers to set up online payment portals. However, in the medical industry where receiving payment is a primary pain point, many patients struggle to pay bills simply because there is no 24/7 bill pay option.
Most people pay their bills at home, after work, and often late at night during their final to-do checklist. Others pay their bills at work between other online tasks. Coming into the doctor's office or medical facility to write a check is just not on the menu. Many don't have the time, and for most, it's now a complete detour from every other life routine.
If your medical practice does not yet have a 24/7 online bill payment option, it's time. Let's take a deeper look at the many reasons why medical procedures need this essential billing upgrade.
Digital Accessibility: Patients Who Can't Make It In
Accessibility is a medically profound reason to switch to anytime online and phone bill payments. However, not everyone can make it into the doctor's office to pay their bill. It is likely that not all your patients are fully mobile, can drive themselves, or can schedule a quick trip to the office to pay their bills. Supportive families and caregivers may not have the time, or the scope, to take care of in-person bill payments for them. Requiring patients to pay in person is a reliable way to ensure that some payments will be late or missed due to accessibility issues alone.
However, even if you have online or phone bills pays within office hours, this can also be an accessibility issue. You must include patients who work the night shift or whose work hours 100% exclude your office hours. People lose enough of their work hours to medical appointments without needing a second appointment to pay their bills.
The Medical Industry Is Behind the Curve
The medical industry is notorious for technological lag, using tried-and-true methods long after the world has adopted the next big thing. But this one upgrade is no longer an option and does not require a huge data migration of secure files. Allowing online and phone 24/7 bill payment has become the industry standard – and has been for over a decade.
According to Insider Intelligence, 85% of patients prefer electronic payments for medical bills, while 65% of patients would consider switching medical providers if paying bills was easier. Medical billing is struggling to get payments from patients who can and are willing to pay. This is because payment has become inaccessible compared to the way all other modern bills are handled. Medical bills are now ranked with traffic tickets as difficult to get paid even when patients desire to pay the bills.
Increase Immediately Available Revenue for Your Medical Practice
Of course, it's not just about customer satisfaction, or being behind on the digital transformation. It is always about collecting enough revenue to keep the lights on and your staff paid. Medical practices often struggle with finances and billing. Insurance companies like to reject claims and many patients have genuine financial troubles. Online bill payment takes one very important block out of the path to your team getting paid for medical services you work hard to provide to the community.
When patients can easily log in and pay their medical bills, often as soon as they get the statement, their immediate access to revenue goes up. These are bills that are paid promptly instead of waiting for months. They don't get forgotten, they don't go into collections. You just cross one payment off your list, mark the patient as paid in full, and enjoy the revenue as it arrives.
Hop on the Gravy Train: Inclusion in Monthly Bill Pay Routines
Another great reason to upgrade your medical practice to 24/7 and online bill payment is the “gravy train” effect. Many people sit down and pay all their accumulated bills at once. It simplifies the bill pay process and can be done just by sitting at the computer for 15-90 minutes once or twice a month. They pull out their payment cards, type in the information, balance the household budget, and call it done.
Your medical practice's bills should be included in that routine. They could be. Every patient who routinely pays all their bills online would just as easily pay for the services provided by your practice – if it were that easy. However, setting aside an envelope or email to pay in person or during office hours drastically decreases the likelihood that this bill will be paid – on time or otherwise. It's just not included in the usual to-do routine. However, with online payments, your practice could easily hop on the gravy train of routine, responsible bill payers.
Automated Online Bill Pay
Many medical facilities are also missing out on the opportunity to set up automated medical payments. Financially stable patients often have no problem setting up yet another automatic monthly bill to pay off significant procedures or accumulated medical expenses slowly. In fact, even patients who struggle financially may appreciate automating their payment plans. Not only are you making payment easier (the easiest possible) for patients, but you are also creating a reliable and assured revenue stream for your medical practice.
Payment Options Decrease Technical Roadblocks
Most medical practices have faced more than a few billing roadblocks. Technical difficulties, bureaucratic slowdowns, phone system failures, and in-office computer errors can all prevent patients from paying their bills, even if they come in during office hours.
However, the more payment options available, the more likely your patients to find a workaround to pay medical bills anyway. For example, if the office system is down, paying by phone might work. If the phone system is down, paying online might work. If paying by card doesn't work, PayPal and separate digital payment providers may come through. The more options available, the more payments make it through technical roadblocks. Then, many patients will do the troubleshooting for themselves with at-home access to payment methods.
Accessible 24/7 Online Bill Pay With BillFlash By NexTrust
The good news is that upgrading your medical practice's bill payment options doesn't have to be a big ordeal. With convenient and swiftly integrated systems like BillFlash Pay Services by NexTrust, you can add easy online and mobile bill payment, automated payments, an integrated in-office payment system using one of our merchant accounts, or, choose to keep your existing merchant account and utilize our gateway-only option.
Give your patients the 24/7 online, mobile, and automated bill payment access they have come to expect. Then, reap the rewards in more reliable and timely revenue for your medical practice. Schedule a demo today to discover how BillFlash can work for your practice, facility, and revenue stream.