It’s hard to deny, the age of information technology has brought us so many great products and services. Medical advancements; such as robotics, Electronic Medical records, Needle Free diabetes Care, and vibrating posture sensors have all lent themselves to make the patient’s experience all the more fulfilling. We can all agree there have also been advances in technology to help providers get the most out of their reimbursements, but sometimes we rely too much on electronics and we lose track of the customer service that made us successful. Outsourcing, automated messaging, online payment portals, these are all great for managing a large volume of patients and claims, however, sometimes it takes away from ‘good ole fashion Customer Service’.
Let’s look at online payment portals in more detail, and in particular take a contrarian viewpoint of the welcoming use of a portal into your practice. The benefits are inarguable; paying your bill online is convenient, there’s a reason why nearly 51% of us pay our bills online. I wont lie, I prefer to pay my bills while I’m sitting on my sofa watching reruns of Fixer Upper. I’m obviously in the majority. While many of us love this convenience, there are a lot of people who loathe the thought of not being able to just pick up the phone and talk to a human being; you know the one with a heartbeat, emotions, and the ability to reason. As human beings, we want our Red velvet cake and the biggest fork available to eat it!
Back to our online payment portals discussion; you’ve all done the market studies, you know your workflow and employee capabilities. So you decide you’re going to invest in an online payment portal. Well, here’s the contrarian view…Your letting your patients decide, how much they’re willing to pay. Sure, you can have a minimum payment, but what if the patient would have paid more. What’s happening is online payment portals are taking ‘circumstance’ out of the equation. What if you had a conversation with a patient and found out they just received their tax return, or maybe even won the lottery. If they made their payment online they may had paid the minimum $25 payment, but instead your savvy negotiating financial counselor, was able to sell them on the ‘benefits’ of making a $100 payment instead.
So, while the advancement in medical technology has brought on mainly positive results, often times they’re not without some ‘opportunity cost’. I’m sure online payment portals and a more archaic method can co-exist in today’s fast pace Internet World, but Medlink Services refuses to sacrifice good customer service for convenience.