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Analysis

The Latest Healthcare Trust Casualty: Billing Accuracy

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   November 19, 2019

Just 33% of consumers felt very confident that bills from their hospital/provider are accurate.

Patient billing is an increasingly important part of overall brand loyalty and retention, but a new survey reveals another wrinkle in patient perception: Trust that their bill is even accurate.

The survey, from Salucro Healthcare Solutions, showed that just 33% of respondents felt very confident that the bill they receive from their hospital/provider is accurate.

That feeling seems to have some validity, since 47% of respondents also reported a billing or payment issue during their most recent healthcare experience.

Such mistakes are among the ways a hospital or health system could jeopardize patient loyalty. In fact, 42% of patients say incorrect or confusing bills would cause them to seek care from an alternative provider.

Other scenarios that might drive patients toward the competition are difficult and unorganized billing and payment processes (34%); lack of flexibility about payment options and financing plans (25%); and significant delays in receiving a bill following a visit (22%), the survey showed.

In addition, 28% of patients might even head for the door when their preferred form of payment is not accepted. According to the survey, patients are all over the map when it comes to payment preferences.

For instance, some want to pay by check or electronic checking (28%), while others want to pay by cash (35%), PayPal (26%), or a flexible recurring payment plan (22%).

Overall, 76% of survey respondents reported they consider the billing and payment process to be somewhat or very important when evaluating a new medical provider.

It's just the latest evidence that the patient financial experience is a huge factor in consumers' healthcare choices. Another recent survey showed that 40% of consumers would switch providers to get affordable healthcare payment arrangements.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.


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