Slowly but surely, big changes are coming to health care payments. As a heavily regulated industry, health care providers must place the security of patients’ personal and financial information above all else, making it difficult to rapidly adopt new technologies and processes. But change is inevitable, and providers are increasingly seeking out payment solutions that help enhance the convenience, ease and accuracy of the patient payment process while also addressing the demands of patients accustomed to the convenience of payments in consumer markets.
“Health care software and digital payment solutions were developed in different industries and as different platforms, and until now there has been little joint innovation,” explains Andres Jimenez, Director, Healthcare Receivables Product Lead, Global Transaction Services at Bank of America. Consumers, however, expect their health care payments to be efficient and streamlined, integrating seamlessly with other systems in place — from appointment scheduling and pre-consultation to point-of-care collections and post-service. “Now, payment portals are bridging the gap between technologies to seamlessly enhance the patient experience,” Jimenez notes, adding that the newest platforms can integrate with the medical software in a provider’s office, enabling patient payments to be received in real time and automatically processed into the provider’s system — while remaining in compliance with the security and privacy standards required by state and federal regulations. That has allowed for solutions that address some of the biggest challenges within the deeply complex and layered landscape of health care payments.