How do you wake up these days, with the sound of your alarm or with the sound of notifications and reminders sent by various apps? Right from the beginning of the morning until the day ends, at every point, we interact with a variety of products and services, making payments across devices and services. Payment collection is a complex process and involves multiple levels of compliance to ensure the security and authenticity of each transaction. It is important in today’s era of user-centricity to have a lucid interface for a seamless payment experience.
It becomes furthermore important for segments like healthcare, undergoing transformative digitisation and automation of services, that the payment collection process is smooth for hospitals and provides multiple user-friendly payment options at the same. A research paper based on bulletins of The World Health Organisation, says that “a key factor for a more rapid move towards universal health coverage is the efficient use of resources, coupled with increased resource mobilization and improved pooling. Substantial efficiency gains could be made by reforming hospital payment mechanisms.1”. With advancements in payment technologies trending toward a more retail-like payment experience as the focal point in healthcare payments, today it is even more necessary to have a user-friendly payment experience both at the hospital’s point-of-service and from a patient’s home.
The pandemic shook our existing healthcare services severely and compelled providers to innovate especially the mode of delivering them. The World Health Statistics Report published by the World Health Organisation highlighted some insights about such innovation and says that “countries have adopted short-term strategies and adaptations to reduce disruptions and recuperate health care services overall and ensure the smooth provision of essential COVID-19 services. The changes include service delivery modifications (such as shifting to community-based care or telehealth consultations), health worker capacity strengthening and training, improving access to essential medicines and health products, increased community engagement, and health financing strategies. About two-third of countries have developed policies and plans for safeguarding essential health services during the pandemic. Countries are also acting to shore up longer-term health service resilience.”
Such service delivery modifications have posed a great challenge for hospitals. For example, the availability of multiple patient-friendly payment options on their platform. As users have started shifting more toward contactless payments and online modes of payments to keep themselves safe, it became crucial for hospitals to equip themselves with the necessary digital and physical infrastructure to adapt.
The pandemic has impacted every aspect of the life of every individual across the globe and with our survival instincts each one of us came out with different ways to cope. So do our businesses! It paved way for the complete digitisation of many industries and services and brought major changes and developments, especially in the healthcare sector. It led to a strategic transition in complete norms, regulations, and operations of the entire healthcare segment.
If we dive deeper into the changes that the healthcare sector had to meet with respect to payment systems, the changes over the last two plus years begin to add up. The earlier pattern of modes of payment revolved around cash and card payments with patient preferences inclined towards cash. Whereas now people are more inclined toward online transactions and card payments. The Healthcare Payment Experience Report, released by PYMNTS.com, revealed more such facts about changes in patient preferences due to the non-availability of digital platforms or services for making payments, filling forms, and more. After surveying 2000 patients it revealed that around 22% of “very” or “extremely” loyal patients said they would drop a preferred physician or practice because tools such as digital form completion, payment reminders, and appointment reminders were not offered.
This implies the need for complete end-to-end digitisation of payment platforms at hospitals and other healthcare organizations to improve the patient payment experience and help hospitals reach greater operational efficiency with a more loyal patient audience.
Salucro Healthcare Solutions India Private Limited is a healthcare financial technology company exclusively focused on patient payments and billing. Salucro’s product vision - designed on a framework of continued innovation – provides advanced technology to accommodate every patient payment scenario and payment preference. Salucro equips healthcare providers with the necessary payment options to help drive revenue from all kinds of consumer types and demographics through its patient financial experience platform.
With the vision to provide smooth and secure payment solutions and experience to patients across the globe, Salucro’s platform offerings include a complete integrated omnichannel payment solution for on-site and remote patients, healthcare providers and vendors which has been pivotal in helping hundreds of hospitals in collecting payments from patients for their healthcare services, diagnostic services, home sample collection, and more.
Salucro solves many common payment collection issues by providing a single interface and portal to accept payments from all modes of transactions such as Cards, e-wallets, payment links, UPI, NEFT/IMPS, payment gateway, DD, Cheque, cash deposit m/c, and more. This platform can be enabled without disturbing integration with healthcare provider’s existing HIS/HMS systems.
The time has come when hospitals and other healthcare providers must level up their systems and software to equip them with the modes of payment that patients have come to expect. It is important to understand the specific payment platform requirements of the healthcare segment and enhance patients’ payment experience with a user-friendly system.
*This article is published by VOH team.*