In part 1 of the series 'Creating a patient-centric payment experience for international patients', Flywire explores the challenges facing health organizations aiming to receive international payments.
When you look beyond your local community to begin or grow the number of international patients that you care for, you will face a whole new set of challenges. Instead of competing with hospitals around the corner, you’re now competing with hospitals around the world. On the other side of the equation are added challenges that the patient will face. A hospital or clinic has to meet certain needs of the patient in order to make the international journey for care worthwhile. To be successful, hospitals need to adopt a patient-centric approach, meaning you understand and address the challenges and needs of the patient. This includes taking a fresh look at the patient financial experience. Working directly with patients as well as some of the top United States healthcare systems with well-established international patient programs, has allowed us to identify some of the unique challenges that international patients face in the payment process.
Traveling out of your home country for care is stressful. Whether you are traveling for help with having a baby or for a newly developed life-saving procedure, the last thing the patient needs to worry about is how to pay. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for international payments. If their care is not covered by insurance or an embassy, the patient is left to tackle the challenges of making an international payment by themselves. In this two-part series, we will first walk you through some of the biggest challenges the patient will face in the payment process. In the second part of the series, we will detail some of the actions a hospital or clinic can take to make the payment process better for both the hospital and the patient.
Considering all of these challenges making an international payment, it becomes less attractive for a patient to make the journey to another country for care. To be successful, a hospital first needs to understand these problems, and then take action to address them. In Part 2 of Creating a Patient-Centric Payment Experience for International Patients, we will explore a new approach to international payments that hospitals can use to gain a competitive advantage. We will also share how UCLA Health used this new approach to improve its international patient program, which includes more than 3,000 international patients annually, representing 46 countries and 35 currencies.