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Analysis

Mobile Patient Payments up Significantly

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   March 11, 2020

According to researchers, the increase highlights younger generations' preference for mobile-enabled payments.

Mobile payments for healthcare bills increased by 63% as a share of total patient payment dollars from 2018 to 2019, finds a new data analysis from athenahealth.

While payments through a desktop interface remained the most common channel for online payment, desktop payments actually declined across all age groups, especially those under age 40 (-14 percent, as opposed to -4 percent for those aged 40+).

According to athenahealth, this highlights younger generations' preference for mobile-enabled payments.

The "Trends in Patient Pay" report analyzed more than 158 million claims across 33 million patients who visited an athenahealth client in selected specialties over a 2.5-year period from July 2017-Dec 2019.

Specialties of focus were primary care, pediatrics/adolescent medicine, gastroenterology, OB/GYN, orthopedics, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, cardiology, and urgent care.

The research also shows that:

  • The percentage of online payments increased across nearly all specialties
     
  • The areas with the largest percentage was pediatric/adolescent medicine (30%)
     
  • No matter the payment method, collecting patient obligations becomes harder as balances get higher
     
  • For all specialties combined, the percentage of patient money owed that was paid within six months increased from 81.4% in 2017 to 82.6% in 2019.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.


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