Patient education and outreach hasn't kept pace with healthcare spending, which is projected to reach $608 billion in out-of-pocket costs by 2019, according to InstaMed's Trends in Healthcare Payments Eighth Annual Report: 2017.
Here are four major takeaways from the report.
1. Consumers are confused
- Seventy-two percent are confused by their explanation of benefits.
- Seventy percent are confused by medical bills.
- Sixty-five percent would consider switching providers for a better experience with payments.
2. Consumers want to go digital
- Seventy-one percent want to pay all their healthcare bills in one place.
- Eighty percent want to check in for provider visits via a mobile device.
- Sixty-five percent would download a mobile app to pay healthcare bills.
3. Providers rely heavily on paper
- Fifty-eight percent say paper statements are the primary method of collecting from patients.
- Forty-one percent haven't changed their patient statement in more than five years.
- Eighty-six percent receive paper checks and explanation of payment from at least one payer.
4. Security concerns are here to stay
- There were more healthcare data breaches in 2017 than any other year on record.
- For 96 percent of providers and 94 percent of payers, security is important when collecting healthcare payments.
- Significant concerns regarding the security of medical bill payments and health plan premium payments exist for 47 percent of consumers.