- About 41% of patients said they would consider switching providers for a better digital experience, according to a survey of more than 1,600 adults commissioned by New York-based patient billing company Cedar.
- Compared to people over 65, younger adults were four times more likely to switch providers based on poor online options.
- Patients are seeking more clarity on bills and flexible payment options, the survey found. About 56% want out-of-pocket cost estimates and creative payment options.
As the healthcare world goes digital, the findings suggest that providers that fall behind may suffer.
Nearly half of healthcare consumers surveyed were frustrated over the lack of digital adoption by their providers. Many patients are looking to complete administrative processes such as paying a bill online.
Still, a majority of respondents (74%) said they receive a bill via traditional mail. Patients seems to enjoy the actual time with their physicians and report the worst experience in the process is the post- and pre-visit time when they're trying to book an appointment or deal with a bill.
When it comes time to paying a bill, consumers said they want consolidated bills across multiple providers and improved customer support for billing questions.
"Consumers expect simple and convenient options that promote transparency for their healthcare payments, which translates to improved financial outcomes for providers," according to the report.
The authors recommended a handful of solutions for the problems identified by the respondents.
Providers should give access to out-of-pocket cost estimators and consolidate bills across clinicians to reflect one episode of care, they said. The patient billing company also advised providers to make available flexible payment plan options.
The findings come as healthcare costs are eating up more of the American family's income. Workers' health insurance costs has eclipsed wage growth, adding to the growing frustration over healthcare costs.
The average premium for employer-sponsored coverage in 2019 was $20,576 in 2019. Health policy experts have pointed out that's the price of a small car.