Survey: Consumers want self-service to manage healthcare expenses

DULUTH, Ga. Consumers are seeking self-service convenience when managing the financial aspects of their healthcare experience, according to a new survey commissioned by NCR.

The annual consumer study, conducted by Buzzback Market Research, revealed that more than half (51%) of the 4,570 respondents would like to manage their healthcare account by viewing payment history and settling outstanding balances via online and mobile channels. What's more, at least half of survey respondents said they would be willing to expedite the payment process by pre-authorizing a credit card charge for co-pays and balances not covered by their insurance provider if offered one of the following incentives:

  • A10% discount on their bill (73%)
  • A room and/or amenity upgrades during a hospital stay (51%)
  • A discount at the pharmacy or hospital gift shop (50%)
  • Self-service can help to speed the payment pre-authorization process online during pre-registration or at a kiosk during patient check-in. Beyond improving revenue capture, automating payment pre-authorization enables healthcare providers to reduce expenses related to collecting patient balances and increase overall convenience for patients.

“As patients bear greater financial responsibility for their care, providers must find new, innovative and convenient ways to improve revenue collection and reduce patient bad debt,” said Nelson Gomez, VP NCR Healthcare. “Merging multi-channel self-service can provide a seamless means to capture more revenue through multiple touch points while supporting the industry initiative to improve the cost, quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery.

“Rising healthcare deductibles and co-pays, coupled with the growing need for greater control and convenience, are driving consumers to take charge of their healthcare,” said Gomez. “Self-service technology is facilitating that shift in control by allowing patients to personalize where, when and how they manage all aspects of their healthcare experience based upon individual preference and location.”

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