BOISE, Idaho, March 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- VisitPay, a market leader in patient financial engagement, has released its second annual study of the patient as payer.
Among the key findings of "The 2020 VisitPay Report," is that the majority (70%) of patients do not ask hospitals and health systems about care costs even though out-of-pocket spending is cited as the most important factor in choosing a provider -- and even seeking care. These findings come as healthcare providers are working to meet the requirements of CMS hospital price transparency requirements by January 2021.
More than 3,500 patients across the nation participated in the survey about medical bills. The survey report, which underscores the growing impact consumers have on health system revenue due to higher out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, identified a strong correlation between clarity of financial responsibility and care avoidance.
"For real progress to be made, health systems need to offer an end to end financial experience that meets CMS mandates while supporting patients," said Kent Ivanoff, CEO and co-founder of VisitPay. "Solutions exist to enable providers to proactively offer transparent pricing and personalized financial solutions that create dramatically different results. This patient-first strategy delivers Net Promoter Scores of 50 and payment rate improvements of 50% or more."
"This report validates behaviors we have witnessed firsthand over the years," said Jeff Taylor, CFO at St. Luke's Health System in Boise, Idaho. "With consumer behaviors growing increasingly digital, convenience and flexibility are no longer optional – they are mandatory features of a payment approach. By providing greater transparency and simplifying the payment process, we have dramatically improved patient satisfaction."
What patients want Patients need visibility into costs more than they need novel ways to pay bills. The most sought-after characteristics of a digital payment system unearthed in the report were:
receiving cost estimates prior to service
a view of the EOB (explanation of benefits) at the visit level
a single, consolidated monthly statement including all hospital/physician charges
In addition, 52% of patients expressed interest in paying their bill over time and the plurality (37%) said an amount less than $100 each month is all they can afford.
What providers can do Since patients are reluctant to discuss costs, providers need to initiate sympathetic, proactive conversations up front, early in the process, and let patients know estimates of price linked with flexible options to pay. When asked about payment options, more than one-third (36%) of patients assumed bills must be paid in full, leading to high use of credit cards and savings to pay their medical bill.
Financing options are attractive to patients, particularly an interest-free period and a low annual interest rate to follow. But with varied consumer preferences and behaviors, managing the financial experience can be challenging. Health systems can improve patient loyalty and financial outcomes with a scalable approach that considers the uniqueness of different patients, from transparent pricing through to final bill resolution
About the study VisitPay conducted an online study through a leading national research company, collecting 3,563 completed responses from adults 18 years of age and older in September 2019. The survey sample was representative of the U.S. population based on age, income, race and ethnicity. To qualify for participation, either the respondent or someone in their immediate family had to have received treatment at a hospital, health system or urgent-care center in the past year. Additionally, they had to have been the guarantor or acting guarantor of the patient in question.
About VisitPay Founded in 2010, VisitPay is the leader in patient financial engagement. The company's third-generation cloud-based platform is used by the nation's largest and most innovative health systems to deliver transparency, choice and control to patients managing healthcare payments and transactions. Through VisitPay, patients can access a comprehensive accounting of their financial obligations, as well as critical health plan and healthcare information, via a health system-branded portal. VisitPay's proprietary analytics tailor consistent and fully compliant financing options that meet the unique needs of patients and their families, creating a simplified billing experience that drives both higher payment rates and improved patient satisfaction scores. VisitPay's investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Flare Capital Partners and Ascension Ventures. For more information about VisitPay, visit www.visitpay.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Visit our Company Blog to access case studies, thought leadership and news.