How the pandemic has accelerated digital payments in telehealth

July 21, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined how health care is delivered as well as how people pay for it. On the delivery side, patients and doctors offices have embraced telehealth appointments; on the financial side, patients have turned to contactless payment modalities and phone apps to handle their balances. 

Zotec Partners, a healthcare payment vendor, reports that the number of patients paying bills online rose nearly 200% from May 2020 to May 2021. The number of Zotec patients using time-of-service payments grew 55% in the same period. 

That comports with a report from InstaMed, another healthcare payment company, which found an “unprecedented explosion of digital adoption in 2020. The pandemic lockdowns required the vast majority of consumers to find contactless ways to connect, it said.

InstaMed’s survey showed 54% of providers changed their contactless payment strategy, and 36% of providers adopted contactless payments for patient collection. Going forward, these options are likely to jump from nice-to-haves to necessities. 

“You want to provide as many convenient options as possible,” Joe McMurray, Zotec’s senior vice president of patient experience said. By simplifying the payment process, healthcare organizations can reduce their bad debt and increase payments at time of service, thus contributing to profitability. “It improves propensity to pay.” 

By: J. Duncan Moore, Jr.

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