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Using Technology to Improve the Patient Experience

Patients in today’s world expect a positive experience when dealing with their medical providers and any other related third parties that might help them through the process.  Even though delivering a truly positive experience for the patient can be somewhat demanding, companies involved in the receivable management cycle should pay close attention to any opportunities that might arise to present such an experience for them.

One such technology that can be truly beneficial is known as inbound interactive voice response (IVR).  One of the benefits of this technology is that it gives the patient an alternative payment channel thus increasing the patient experience and better meeting their needs. 

This technology is perfect for patients who don’t want to deal with a customer service representative.  By simply answering a series of questions through the keypad, the patient can quickly pay their bill and move on.  Another key advantage to this type of technology is that it’s available 24 hours a day every day of the week and every week of the year.

IVR also provides increased security because it mitigates errors that can come from live agents entering credit and debit card information manually.  This type of system allows the patient themselves to enter their own credit card information by use of their telephone keypad.  

Fraud is also marginalized because personal financial information is never spoken or audibly provided to a live agent.  Use of this type of “self-service” technology also allows live agents to spend more of their time working with patients who are in need of someone with a personal touch or one-on-one attention.  Use of an inbound IVR system also enables the patient to make a recurring or single payment, establish a payment plan with credit card, debit card or ACH transfer or simply check their balance. 

Online bill presentment and bill pay through a payment gateway portal is also a key technology to helping a patient pay their bills, manage their account, save money and reduce stress.  This service is becoming increasingly popular with patients who want access to managing their debt by use of a personal computer, laptop or tablet computer, or even through their smartphone.  This service is technically a method of payment that allows a patient to give payment instructions electronically through use of a computer program.

One of the biggest benefits of providing a payment portal is the ease of use supplied to patients.  Rather than writing checks, filling out paperwork, and licking stamps; all of those steps are eliminated through this technology.  The cost savings of making use of a payment portal as opposed to traditional mail can be substantial when calculated annually.  This technology can be extremely convenient particularly when making use of automatic bill pay options that manage recurring payments.  Also, paying bills online through the Internet is actually considered a safer method of payment than payment by check. 

Even though some patients still prefer to use traditional mail service to pay their bills, more and more people throughout the country are making use of newer technologies for bill-pay solutions.  Many providers who are concerned with offering the highest level of customer service for their patients are now finding it a necessity that they, and their vendor partners, make these payment options readily accessible to their patients.

Last modified onWednesday, 09 September 2015 19:27

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