Two weeks ago, in Part 1 of ‘Creating a Patient-Centric Payment Experience for International Patients’, I highlighted several of the top challenges that international patients face when trying to make a payment. Those issues include:
- Inconvenient Payment options
- Credit Card Hurdles
- Wire Transfer Challenges
- Lack of Transparency
All these make for a stressful payment experience, not to mention additional fees. As businesses strive for excellence and compete against larger, brand name healthcare facilities, they have to work smarter. There are changes that can be made within 30 days that will improve the payment experience for international patients and make your group stand out against others in growing your department. Here are three key actions that can be done right now:
1. Translate your cost estimates and bills
While working with many US hospitals to help grow their international patient revenues, I’ve found that most are sending out the pre-care estimate of costs or patient bills in English only. If you have already spent time to provide language services or staff your team with multi-lingual patient coordinators, it makes sense to provide that same level of service in your patient communication, i.e.:
- Translate the template you are using to send the bill to the patient into the patient’s local language
- Start with the top three languages spoken by your international patients
In my experience with US hospitals, I always offer to have their cost estimates translated into Mandarin, Arabic and Spanish to provide a personal touch. Patients feel more comfortable and have a better understanding when reading the costs in their native language. Your estimate will stand out against others the patient receives when they are choosing where to go for care.
2. Add an online payment option
Do you offer an online bill pay option for your patients? Most countries have many technology vendors that can help you offer online payments to your patients. Presenting this option for your patients provides a convenient and straight forward method of payment. Having an online payment option conveys an innovative and forward thinking organisation.
3. Take advantage of an international payment platform
An international payment platform offers the patient the option to pay in their home currency, using local payment methods.
My expertise is working with hospitals to create a patient centric payment experience for their international patients with Flywire’s platform. With over 140 different currencies and payment methods, your international patients will get to choose the option that works best for them and cut their fees on currency exchange in half. Patients are able to go through the payment process in 7 different languages and choose from wire transfers, credit or debit cards and a number of e-wallet options like PayPal, Venmo and AliPay. The goal is to create a payment experience that is easy, friendly and cost effective. Adding the international payment platform comes with no cost and we’ll help get your estimates or bills translated as well.
Reshaping the patient payment experience
Making payments outside of your home country and local currency doesn’t have to be challenging. Updating your patient communications to include native language translations and the addition of the right technology to your department can provide a payment experience for your international patients that is safe, flexible and cost effective. You’re now providing an experience from estimate to payment that is patient friendly or, in other words, a patient-centric payment experience.