News Feature | May 27, 2015

Online Healthcare Billing In High Demand

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Medical Records

A PwC report indicates patients are increasingly frustrated by hospital billing systems which rely heavily on paper and phone calls.

Patients want online billing, and they want it now. According to a report from PwC's Health Research Institute, the over 1,000 adults surveyed noted they were tired of billing and payment systems which relied heavily on paper and phone calls.

Healthcare IT News reports patients and affluent customers are the most likely to be dissatisfied with healthcare billing. In addition, one in two Americans in poor or fair health rated hospitals poorly on price transparency and affordability.

Also, millennials are more cost-conscious and more likely than the general population to judge healthcare organizations based on their billing practices. Researchers say they are more likely to challenge medical bills, search for better deals and make value-based decisions.

“Businesses that make this shift – offering convenient, seamless, quality, reliable and transparent billing and payment – will be rewarded in the New Health Economy,” said Kelly Barnes, PwC's U.S. health industries leader,” in a news release. “They will retain more customers and attract new ones.”

PwC principal and customer leader Paul D'Alessandro said, “Healthcare companies must consider shifting from a business-to-business to business-to-consumer billing and payment approach. Technology will play a significant role in creating ways to consolidate billing and payments, and mobile apps, online portals and other innovations should become more commonplace in the immediate future. For longer term solutions, the system should be redesigned to remove complexity and support a seamless customer experience”

“In the short term, healthcare organizations should begin building more convenience, transparency, affordability, reliability and seamlessness into their revenue cycle and payment systems. In the longer term, healthcare payment must fall in step with other industries. The system needs more than patches, bolt-ons and retrofits: It needs structural change,” concludes the report.