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Integrated payments and the evolution of healthcare

The future of healthcare is close to the top of the agenda for many countries as we continue to battle the impacts of COVID-19. So what role will payments pay in the future of healthcare technology?

The healthcare industry’s ability to offer convenience by adopting modern software solutions for its administrative processes is being tested like never before. COVID-19 specifically has driven the need to limit direct contact with support staff and resources, through solutions like contactless payments. Key to achieving that objective is making integrated payments a central component of any healthcare software platform.

This need for innovation mirrors expectations that have been placed on a broad range of service industries, influenced by heightened standards for safety and convenience that can directly impact customer confidence. In these cases, integrated payments and the platforms that adopt them serve to create customer and merchant experiences that can drive growth .

Healthcare, which itself is a business, needs to take note of such trends while also maintaining unparalleled standards for hygiene and charting journeys for patient care in an environment where the slightest lapse could have severe repercussions. Due to COVID-19, that journey is increasingly adopting solutions that facilitate things like telehealth services, virtual check-ins and patient E-visits. Many veterinary practices are taking similar steps to limit interactions between their clientele.

With healthcare undergoing an intense evolutionary process, we take a closer look at how integrated payments can complement these tools, strengthening existing platforms and driving long-term patient confidence.

Simplified User Experience

The healthcare industry’s need for comprehensive software platforms with integrated payments was a topic of discussion long before COVID-19. Tellingly, demands for more streamlined solutions have been driven by practitioners and patients alike. Where patients can often lack the transparency to understand when, why and how they will be billed, practitioners are confronted with an inability to efficiently collect on those payments.

This is where looking at healthcare as a business is important as it can be just as easy to alienate a patient as a valued retail customer. Although serving very different needs, both must prioritize client satisfaction. To that point, InstaMed’ s 2019 Trends in Healthcare Payments Report showed that “66% of consumers would consider switching healthcare providers for a better healthcare payments experience”. The same report also showed that 77% of patients would enroll to receive eStatements but only 23% of providers offer them.

Integrated payments can help address these patient demands and make them more willing to engage with healthcare services. They also give practitioners the opportunity to save invaluable time and resources, while increasing efficiency.

Payment Flexibility

Flexibility is becoming an increasingly important word across the entire service sector. In the case of healthcare, it can apply to scheduling appointments, video conferencing, prescription refills, access to medical records and more. Of course, it also applies to billing and payment methods. Through integrated payments, software providers can easily enhance their existing solutions to reinforce a positive patient experience, tailored to their individual needs.

80% of ISV respondents in our recent report Lost in Transaction: The new relationship for ISVs and payments, stated that the range of payment options an integrated payments provider could offer was a very important consideration when selecting a partner. As patients come to expect solutions that allow them to pay under more manageable terms, software providers are increasingly appreciative of the corresponding need to offer payment options that optimise for convenience, security and safety.

Installments and recurring billing

The need for flexible payment solutions is directly tied to a growing desire to pay for medical bills through more convenient installment plans. In the US market, 52% of patients are interested in monthly installments that take into account their income and ability to pay on time.

Healthcare is a multi-trillion-dollar business, making inevitable a heightened interest in software platforms that support recurring payment options. In this regard, integrated payments benefit all parties, as low- and middle-income earners will be less overwhelmed by expenses and practitioners can more reasonably manage their own expectations. This process is reinforced through a Customer Vault API integration, which securely stores sensitive payment information with tokenization.

The healthcare industry is evolving at a rapid pace that necessitates industry software providers follow suit. Integrated payments are a key part of that evolution, making it essential for those providers to find the right partner to supply those services.