A Healthcare Operations and Technology Survey found slow adoption of web- and automated phone-based payment technologies in healthcare organizations.

Instead, providers are still opting for more traditional payment collection methods including; on-site and mail, as well as agent assisted phone payments ranked most popular, with 93 percent and 87 percent of respondents using these methods. Web portals ranked a distant third with only 67 percent of organizations accepting payments via website.

When asked about planned tactics to encourage patient payments, surprisingly non-technology solutions including “offering payment plans” and “utilizing third party collection agencies” tied as the most common responses at 27 percent. Adoption of “payment portals” tied with “increasing staffing levels” at 20 percent of the healthcare organizations planning to implement these options over the next 12 months. Adding “Interactive Voice Response (IVR)” scored very low at only 13 percent, indicating the industry has yet to embrace this proven approach to reducing reliance on FTEs for accepting payment.

“Healthcare providers are clearly facing a significant revenue shift (from insurance payers to the patient). By adopting payment technology, including patient payment portals and IVRs, they can quickly strike a balance between the payment preferences of patients and their staffing resources," says Dave Yohe, VP of Marketing at BillingTree. “The healthcare industry, which leans toward staffing and third parties to tackle payment capacity issues, is beginning to follow their peers in other service industries. This includes embracing a technology approach to help ensure compliance, enhance customer service and improve their revenue cycle management,” he continued.