As digital payment processes – including instant payments that bypass the need to craft and send checks – take hold in more and more business segments, the world of healthcare is beginning to take notice.
The proposition: Can faster, easier, and more convenient payments (made possible by steadily advancing technology adoption) create opportunities for innovation and better customer service in the healthcare space?
While from a consumer standpoint, the payment process in healthcare might look like a payor cuts a check and a payee gets it in the mail, Bloh noted that the process is rarely that simple. In between the decision to pay and the customer getting paid, there is “a lot of back-and-forth verification of information, and packaging and sending out supplementary data like explanation of claims or documentation.”
Still, payment tech is advancing to the point where consumer-facing innovation can become more and more viable. The article points out that today, for example, insurance companies routinely pay out claims to patients or offer them reimbursements. In the near future, with the power of well-protected instant payments, they can offer direct cash-rebate incentives to go to the gym or reduce one’s BMI — an actual consumer-interaction service that brings value to the relationship beyond a simple transaction. This is more and more important as consumers become more able to explore alternatives when dealing with healthcare issues.
Mastercard EVP of Digital Payments and Labs Jess Turner observed:
“This could be a great way to … influence people’s behavior throughout the year,” Turner said. “The use cases in healthcare are almost limitless.”
While the healthcare industry has taken notice, adoption is still slow. OrboGraph projections show an increase of 3% for the next 2-4 years in paper-originated payments. The utilization of technology such as faster payments certainly aligns with the need to automate healthcare payments processing, but how quickly will the industry adopt?
This blog contains forward-looking statements. For more information, click here.