Consumers are used to ease and convenience when they check out online or in-store and “checking out” at the doctors is no different. In fact, PYMNTS data shows that nearly two-thirds of consumers will switch healthcare providers if they don’t get it.
Modern patients act like independent shoppers expecting an array of choices concerning payment experience for healthcare. They are empowered by the ability to compare and choose among healthcare services providers and may abandon their trusted providers if their experiences do not align with their expectations. The healthcare industry needs to offer its patients the same value-focused experience and customization level when it comes to payments, like any other commercial sector.
PYMNTS research surveying 3,546 U.S. adults who have received healthcare services in the last year found eliminating payments friction is a crucial determinant of patient loyalty to their healthcare providers, despite high levels of patient satisfaction with their care.
In the report, The Payment Cure: How Improving Billing Experiences Impacts Patient Loyalty, roughly 63% of consumers consider switching healthcare providers if they are not satisfied with how they pay and discover the costs connected to their care. That tops the totality of expense (38%), lack of a cost estimate before an appointment (38%), a complex billing process (36%), and absence of a payment plan or third-party financing (27%).
Transparency in healthcare costs was as crucial to patient loyalty as desired clinical outcomes.
The report also finds patients have clear preferences as to what keeps them loyal. Seventy-seven percent of patients say the ability to get appointments or otherwise access their provider when needed is the most important factor for a positive healthcare experience. Other factors include insurance coverage, friendliness of staff and a positive health outcome resulting from the care provided.