Third-Party Billing Companies [Healthcare Compliance Tips]
Write-Offs [Healthcare Compliance Tips]
Third-Party Billing Companies [Healthcare Compliance Tips]
Write-Offs [Healthcare Compliance Tips]

Patient Payment Experience [Healthcare Compliance Tips]

Reevaluate the payment experience for patients.

Each year InstaMed releases their Trends in Healthcare Payments Ninth Annual Report.

In this tip we would like to discuss 2018 and 2019 report, in which they state:

This year’s report is designed to examine the most impactful healthcare payment trends from the unique perspectives of the key industry stakeholders: consumers, providers, and payers.

Here are a few of their findings:


  • 70% of consumers are confused by medical bills.
  • 56% of consumers would not be able to pay a $1,000+ medical bill.
  • 77% of providers say that it takes more than a month to collect any payment.
  • 71% are confused by Explanation of Benefits (EOBs).


  • 78% of providers cannot collect $1000+ in 30 days.
  • 91% of consumers were surprised by a medical bill in 2019.
  • 83% of consumers prefer electronic payment methods for medical bills.

First, we must stop, listen, and shift our mindset.

When you review these results, the keywords that stick out to us are: “confused,” “surprised,” “can’t pay,” “want a payment plan.”

Patients are directly telling us that they need help with navigating the payment system so that they can pay you on time.

Therefore, it’s time for healthcare entities to stop doing what they think is working and revamp their payment systems.

So, how can you make this easier?

Here are our thoughts on how to handle the internal and external part of the payment experience, such as:

  • Internal Process
    • Review and create new payment processes (i.e., policy regarding surprise bills).
    • Evaluate your payment systems to ensure they are easy to understand and navigate (i.e., billing statements, systems).
    • Provide various payment options and plans.
    • Assign and train an employee to explain patient financial responsibility after each visit.
  • External Process
    • Share your financial policy with the patient in the form of brochures, email, or even through video.
    • Send a survey to the patient to solicit their opinion about your payment policies.

Again, the primary goal is to help the patient navigate and understand the payment experience.

If you continue the process above, this will build a connection with your patient and keep them from finding review sites or dialing the insurance company with complaints, which red-flags your practice and affects your reputation.

*Updated 7/21/2020.

**The opinions and observations from the group/author are not a promise to exempt your practice from fines and penalties.  Research, modify, and tailor the advice to fit your specialty.


Joi Sherrod, MPH, CPC, CPCO
Joi Sherrod, MPH, CPC, CPCO
Joi is an educator and owner of JNC Healthcare Compliance Group. After working for distinguished academic teaching hospitals and clinics, she is passionate about helping medical, dental, and behavioral health practices rethink healthcare compliance one trend at a time. Contact Joi at