No one looks forward to receiving a bill, which is all the more reason why those issuing a request for payment would benefit from making the process as
straightforward and trouble-free as possible.
Unfortunately, difficulties in billing practices
continue to abound for many business organizations, particularly in the healthcare industry.
Cedar, a patient payment and engagement
platform, recently published the results of its
2019 U.S. Healthcare Consumer Study, finding
that healthcare consumers are significantly
unsatisfied by providers’ antiquated practices
and lack of transparency when it comes to billing.
In interviews with more than 1,600 health-
care consumers, the study found that 49% of
patients felt frustrated with their physician’s
hesitation in adopting digital administrative
processes like online bill paying or access
to insurance information, with 1 in 3 feeling
that their physicians have not done enough to
improve overall bill and payment processes.
More than a third of the patient respondents
(34%) also admitted to having a bill go to collections in the past year, with 43% citing their own
confusion about the amount, and 26% citing
outdated billing and notification processes.
The study illustrated that this frustration
has had significant consequences. One in 5
patients said they have dropped a physician due
to poor digital experience, and 41% said they’d
consider switching to a provider who offered a
For those between the ages of 18 and 24, a
reliable and easy-to-navigate digital experience
is even more crucial, as they are three times
as likely (61%) to consider switching providers
over a poor digital experience compared to the
over-65 population (21%), and are four times
more likely (29%) to have already abandoned a
provider over a poor digital experience compared
to the over-65 population (6%).
“Similar to the scenarios that have played out
in other industries like e-commerce, healthcare providers are now being judged by the
digital experience they provide their patients,”
said Florian Otto, founder and CEO of Cedar.
“While technology has rapidly innovated how
we treat patients on the clinical side, adminis-
trative processes have yet to catch up. Modern
consumers—armed with new levels of data,
treatment options, and heightened expecta-
tions—now demand more, and the industry
must rise to the challenge.”
Not simply airing grievances towards the
existence of medical bills, respondents offered
their top actions for potential improvements,
including flexible payment plans for large bill
amounts (83%), out-of-pocket cost estimates
(56%), understandable bill explanations (50%),
consolidated bills or statements (41%), better
customer support (38%), and digital payment
Clean Bills of Health
Consumers give healthcare providers low scores on billing
care stacks up
(Best to worst)
1st Online Retail
2nd Online Banking
3rd Online Travel
4th Health Care
Source: Cedar. 2019. 2019 U. S.
Healthcare Consumer Study.
Online Patient Portal:
How consumers are
being notified about
a healthcare bill