The proliferation of convenient digital platforms for handling medical expenses has disrupted the old-fashioned process of settling bills at the doctor’s office or hospital, though that remains the predominant method of payment. The increasing popularity of portals and platforms is detailed in the recent study, “The Digital Platform Promise: How Patients Want to Streamline Healthcare Payments,” which is a survey of more than 2,500 consumers in the U.S. that was organized by Lynx and PYMNTS. Nearly a third (28.9%) of participants had used an online portal of some type to complete payment on a medical bill in the past year.
In the same annual timeframe, 36% of consumers paid their bill in-person, but the 7% gap is closing rapidly. For instance, the study also surprisingly found that the breakout demographic for digital payment solutions was seniors, specifically baby boomers at 22.2%. With the leading population segments from this study sitting at 29.1% (millennials) and 26.9% (Gen Z), the close percentages among these diverse age groups indicate that portals and the like have been able to make major strides in reaching more patients.
The reason behind the increased portal adoption is simple: convenience. As put in the study, “Among consumers who held an online account with a digital healthcare or wellness-related portal, 48% reported that online channels improve at least one part of the overall payments and billing management experience. Notably, 29% said that digital portals make their experience more convenient, and 25% said that digital platforms make it easier to access account information.”