2020 was a year of unprecedented change, and Winstar is here to help keep you up-to-date on the latest trends in healthcare payments. We know the payments industry combined with Healthcare regulation can seem daunting, so we’ve broken down the trends into 3 easy-to-understand segments: Consumer (patients) trends, payer (insurance providers) trends, and physicians (healthcare professionals) trends. So, let’s get into it!
Starting with consumers: Based on consumer surveys, more than 75% of consumers still want contactless transactions post pandemic, and more than 80% of consumers want to pay all of their payments in one place. Further, more than half of consumers would be willing to switch physicians in order to have a better payments experience. These sentiments show that the demand for contactless experiences among consumers is peaking post-pandemic. Over the last year, consumer trends have consistently pointed to a preference for electronic, online and automated payment experiences.
When it comes to payers, we’re referring to organizations that set service rates, collect payments, process claims, and pay provider claims, such as health plan providers. Not to be confused with healthcare providers, such as doctors. Based on payer research, approximately 9 in 10 payers leverage or plan to leverage artificial intelligence in payments. Based on consumer data and preference, payers have placed a high value on simplifying healthcare payments and trying to ensure they are made in one place to pay or via a singular portal. These payer-related trends show that the payers play a vital role in shaping the healthcare payments industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, payers were the sole industry stakeholder seeing positive financial forecasts, which put them in a unique and powerful position to be able to drive digital payments between consumers and their physicians.
Lastly, healthcare providers such as physicians have seen a lot of change in the way they do business as a result of Covid 19. More than 50% of physicians have changed their contactless payments strategy, and 84% of physicians now prefer EFT versus check. These are steps in the right direction, although we haven’t seen the end of the pandemic’s effects on physicians quite yet. Their payment challenges have been further exacerbated by the financial consequences in the now post-pandemic world. Physicians must continue to prioritize finding new solutions for their payment challenges.