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The biggest payment challenges healthcare companies face in 2018 — 7 insights

BillingTree's 2018 "Healthcare Business Strategy and Technology Survey" revealed healthcare providers struggle with a lack of payment channels and are increasingly adopting payment technologies. Here are seven insights:

1. Patient inability to pay is the biggest challenge in revenue cycle and collection, followed by collecting once the patient has left the facility and a lack of payment channels which can include web, interactive voice response and staff to accept payments.

2. Disputes over the amount billed and posting to the database scored lowest in comparison to other challenges.

3. The number of providers offering interactive voice response payment options jumped from 7 percent to 50 percent, despite the previous year's responses indicating there weren't drastic plans to adopt new payment technologies.

4. Respondents ranked HIPAA compliance and reporting as the top two priorities in choosing payment processing services.

5. Almost 90 percent of respondents said they accept HSA/FSA and credit/debit as forms of patient payment. Half accept payments via an interactive voice response system, an increase from 6.7 percent last year.

6. More than 60 percent of respondents plan to add web payment options within the next 12 months. One-fourth said they'll add an automated option to their phone system to accept payments through an automated voice response system, compared to only 13 percent from last year's survey.

7. The survey was conducted over a one-month period at the end of 2017. Healthcare collections facilities made up 50 percent of respondents, while 25 percent were multi-location hospitals with shared service centers and 25 percent were single location medical practices.

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