For healthcare providers, the bad news is that daily total patient payments declined 47% between mid-March and mid-May, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to data that was released last week by TransUnion. The good news, though, is that point-of-service collection fees were 42% higher during the same time period, largely due to increased price transparency being offered by healthcare providers.
Getting more money upfront is better for healthcare providers, because it means less collection work that has to be done after the patient leaves the office.
“Given the rise in unemployment – and the transition between health plans that patients may face due to the loss of employer-sponsored benefits – now more than ever, patients are expecting transparency and personalized experiences, particularly as they re-engage with providers amidst COVID-19,” said David Wojczynski, President of TransUnion Healthcare, in a statement. “In turn, providers will need to accommodate patients’ unique financial needs and utilize their preferred medium for both payment and communication. In partnership with VisitPay, our solutions help providers build a reliable basis of trust with their patients.”
As expected, a majority of individuals said that knowing how much a procedure will cost in advance helps the budget accordingly, but only 25% of patients were “very satisfied” with the types of payment options that their healthcare providers offer. Patients also revealed that more than one-third of providers did not ask for a payment at the time that service was performed. Nearly two-thirds of patients said they would at least make a partial payment if an estimate was provided in advance of a procedure.