As healthcare costs continue to rise, and the amount of spending on prescription drugs also spirals, more patients are seeking better, faster and more convenient ways to pay for their treatment.
The healthcare industry as a whole has not yet developed a way of turning its ageing IT core into fast, effective payment systems that look to the retail industry for inspiration and ideas.
Could Fintech hold the answer to greater success and a slicker patient experience?
Fintech and Healthcare
Fintech incorporates a range of new technologies that are at the helm of an ever innovating finance sector, some of which include mobile payments, online investment services, and even blockchain, cryptocurrency and machine based learning that can help the medical industry to develop and innovate.
Companies across the globe are now developing more innovative ways of paying, banking and managing wealth that consider smartphone and device use, the IoT and APIs.
Developers consider speed, ease of use and security to be the biggest priorities, but their greatest challenge is making sure consumer expectations are met.
These are also challenges the healthcare industry faces too.
Are there connections to be made between Fintech and Healthcare?
Finance and healthcare are both founded on a notion that their consumers will opt for a provider that they can become loyal to, depending on its offerings and benefits. Patient financing, professional and fast payment systems and healthcare reimbursement methods are a top priority for many patients seeking treatment that they must pay for.
Both banking and healthcare have offered a service based on fees which can help draw consumers in, because they aren’t as concerned with long term outcomes, as they’re being paid regularly.
Healthcare has operated in a similar way to banks, in that patients may take out loans or need to utilize credit to pay for their treatment, but over the last few years rising inflation and a change in what consumers expect has altered its outlook from volume to value.
Delivery systems within the healthcare service have to now try and persuade patients to stay with them, and that means they’ve got to offer very high quality for a low fee. There has been a hesitancy within the industry to embrace new technology, that just isn’t there within finance and banking and overcoming this will be key to whether the health industry sinks or swims.
Can Fintech offer anything to the healthcare industry?
Healthcare providers are clear that patient safety, quality of service and long term success outcomes is their clear priority. Now they also have to consider their consumer’s experience, just as retail enterprises do.
Consumers are becoming choosier, opting for quality of care over how close to them a hospital actually is, when deciding on where to seek care. They’re now more willing to shop around for who provides them with their care and any procedures they may need.
It’s estimated that around eighty percent of patients would like to be able to pay their bills digitally, while just under seventy percent want to use online tools to clear bills. However, in contrast, just under eighty percent of healthcare providers are using paper billing to cover their financial transactions. This will need to change considerably.
Fintech can help to power the analytics and security needed to make the move to digital transactions a success and as time goes on healthcare providers are going to find themselves in a tight race to secure the custom of patients who need care, if they do not have the right digital financial management systems in place.
The industry needs to move faster and look to innovate from Fintech giants if it is to adapt and move with the times.