What patients want post-pandemic

March 25, 2021
Keith A. Reynolds

Healthcare consumers want many of the contactless practices implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue.

While the world is ready to return to some semblance of pre-COVID-19 life, patients still want healthcare options implemented in response to the pandemic.

According to a news release, InstaMed’s Trends in Healthcare Payments 11th Annual Report found that 78 percent of patients would like many of the contactless options implemented in an effort to curtail the pandemic such as telehealth and digital payments.

The pandemic kickstarted many healthcare payment options that were just gaining traction before it hit, and patients are hungry for them to continue with a further 82 percent of respondents saying they want to make all of their healthcare payments in one place and more than half saying they would consider switching physicians for a better healthcare payment experience.

The report also found that more than half of physicians changed their contactless payment strategy due to COVID-19, while two in five say the pandemic was their primary revenue cycle concern of 2020. A further 84 percent of physicians prefer EFT from payers, but 62 percent of payers still pay with paper and fee-based options, the release says.

On the insurer side of the equation, payers saw revenue growth and renewed potential for the individual market during the pandemic but will need to continue to work on payment experiences and innovation to sustain it, according to the release.

“Our annual report is designed to serve as a conversation-starter regarding the current state of the U.S. healthcare payments industry,” Bill Marvin, CEO of InstaMed and head of Healthcare Payments and managing director of J.P. Morgan, says in the release. “This dialogue among industry stakeholders is now more critical than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic magnified the challenges already felt by consumers due to rising healthcare costs and payment responsibility. The 11th annual report shows that, while contactless experiences and utilization are growing across consumers, providers and payers, there continues to be alarming disconnect among these key stakeholders. Prioritizing consumer demand for the digitization of healthcare payments and processes is essential as healthcare organizations look to rebuild from the financial impacts of the pandemic.”