Our smartphone: it’s how we snag a car ride home and where we’re reminded to buy groceries. It’s also where we exchange money with friends and businesses in real-time through payment apps. 

Technology shapes our lives. What used to be novel convenience is now just how we do business. But the medical industry—medical billing practices in particular—has fallen behind, and payment collection methods remain as clunky as ever. In fact, about 90% of medical providers still use paper-based payment follow-ups and leave voice messages that will never be heard. Meanwhile, other industries report vast revenue gains by communicating with customers using text messages—98% of which are read within two minutes. 

Maybe even more important than the time old practices cost medical providers is the frustration it causes customers. Frustrated customers means a diminished reputation.

The problem is as clear as the solution: As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, providers need to adopt modern payment methods like Podium Payments to keep up with the payment experience customers expect. It’s not just about productivity and profit, it’s about securing a business’s future. 

Benefits of Podium Payments for Healthcare Companies Like Yours

1. Get paid in minutes, not months

The benefits of text messaging overshadow even the most diligent phone call follow-up system. That’s because reports show 82% of people don’t listen to a voicemail left by an unknown number. And the average medical bill takes 60-120 days to get paid. That’s over two months. Why does it take so long? Probably because many people set paper bills aside for a day designated for annoying tasks like opening mail, licking stamps, writing checks, and posting letters. Then there’s the time it takes for both the postal service and the bank to deliver the letter and process payment. 

Text messaging, however, allows people to respond to bill queries immediately. The convenience of texting is powerful. In fact, text-based billing yields a 300% increase in successful payments over traditional collection methods. 

2. Get paid regularly

An overwhelming 90% of customers say they’re willing to receive texts from businesses and brands. Unlike emails and letters, text messages don’t go unread. Targeting customers in a convenient medium that they already use means they can pay medical bills faster and without hassle. 

That’s why implementing a text-based payment system cuts the standard 60 to 120-day payment period down significantly. Increasing the predictability of your cash flow can free up financial resources needed to keep a business running smoothly. 

3. Increase security

There are customers who view paper billing as safe because of the possibility of digital identity fraud, but in reality, online and mobile transactions are just as safe if not safer than traditional paper billing. And paper billing comes with inherent security risks. Many customers may now feel uncomfortable providing credit card numbers over the phone or dropping a check in the mail. 

Using the well-known and trusted secure payment technology of Stripe, text-based payment platforms like Podium Payments allow medical providers to process payments with confidence. The fully PCI-compliant platform protects customer information. It also helps safeguard your business against fraud and expensive chargebacks. 

4. Decrease cost to collect payments

Envelopes, stamps, and the personnel required to fold and pack a letter make paper billing a costly process. A digital bill-pay and collection system eliminates those steps, saving your bottom line while decreasing payment processing time.

“We figured, on average, we were spending $5 to send a statement,” Valley Immediate Care CEO, Brent Krell told us. Once his company started using Podium Payments, initially just for past due notices, it saw immediate results. “We were sending 600 to 700 statements per month. Just the savings in that alone pretty much pays for our Podium bill.”

5. Improve reporting

Traditional paper-and-pencil and desktop reporting methods result in a disconnected customer record. To cobble together a report measuring response time and the rate of success of your billing department requires a significant administrative investment. Using a platform like Podium Payments, requests and payment status can flow into one, streamlined customer communications platform where nothing goes unrecorded. 

Text-based Messaging Benefits for Your Healthcare Customers

1. Improve customer experience

The phone app—the one used to make actual phone calls—is the least popular communication feature on smartphones. In one study, less than half of the respondents said they used their phone to make a call over the previous seven days. On the flip-side, over the last decade, there’s been a 7,700% monthly increase in text messages sent via smartphone. The vote is in: customers prefer text messages and have come to rely on this mode of communication for business and pleasure.

Using text messaging may also help medical companies reduce what customers perceive as “surprise” bills––In 2018, 93% of patients said a medical bill took them by surprise. Text-based billing helps mitigate the element of surprise. And, by making the payment record easily accessible from the same messaging platform, it can help build a stronger, more transparent relationship between the customer and company. 

2. Improve convenience 

Checks used to be the standard for bill payments, but 58% of Millennials simply don’t use them. Now, seeing someone fish out a checkbook at the grocery or post office is rare, even the concept of a checkbook is fading to obscurity. With the prevalence of online bill payments, few bills exist that require a paper check–– online payment options are even available for rent, mortgage, or HOA. 

3. Improved sense of security

A common concern for those still using checks to pay bills is that their payment will get lost in the mail or intercepted by an identity thief. Online payments are not only faster but provide more security safeguards. Today, 75% of customers say they prefer electronic payment. By using the reliable security of payment processing platforms like Stripe, medical providers can start serving the majority of their customers the way they prefer to be served. 

4. Improve Loyalty

Customer convenience is an incredibly strong driver of overall brand loyalty. Leveraging text-based communication delivers a powerful message: medical providers understand customer needs and work to address them. 

With the level of competition many medical providers now face, customers forced to put up with outdated and frustrating payment processes will opt for another provider, no matter how long they’ve been a loyal patient. Medical providers need to react to the market by making payments simple and easy. 

5. Improve confidence

Stripe has grown into a well-known e-commerce powerhouse. Customers trust it by name. A business can leverage that trust by using a platform like Podium Payments. Combined with Podium’s feedback platform, users can offer their customers fast, reliable communication that delivers an unparalleled experience. 

The medical industry is clamoring for solutions to outdated payment options that add up to unhappy clients, high overhead, and an unpredictable flow of income. Podium Payments is that solution. A modern text-based billing system that helps shorten revenue cycles and revive efficiency, it delivers a level of service out of the office that customers expect when they visit––pleasant, professional, and easy.  


Raechel Duplain
Raechel Duplain Group Manager, Solutions Marketing

Raechel Duplain is an experienced content, marketing, and business professional at Podium, the premiere marketing and communications platform for local businesses.

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