Flywire Expands its International Healthcare Payments Business
Flywire, a leading provider of cross-border payment solutions, is reporting strong demand for its healthcare payment platform as US hospitals ramp up competition for patients from outside the country.
Patients Beyond Borders estimates that the worldwide market for international patient care is approximately $40 billion today, and growing at a rate of 15-25%. Patients are traveling from all over the world for the latest advancements and expertise in medical care, shorter wait times and access to more affordable procedures. The market has become very competitive with hospitals in the US investing in targeted marketing campaigns and support services including assistance with accommodations, finances and transportation. One of the newer areas of focus for hospitals is streamlining the payment process for their international patients.
Large cross-border payments can be very complex and many international patients pay for their care themselves, without the involvement of insurance companies. It’s a stressful time and most patients would benefit from peace of mind, but the payment process is anything but.
• Patients are often unsure of the best way to initiate an international payment.
• Exchange fees are high and almost always confusing.
• Patients can never be quite sure they are paying the right amount.
• Worrying about whether their payment has been properly received is counter-productive to their health and recovery.
On the healthcare provider end, the reconciliation issues for international payments can also be complex and time-consuming. Healthcare facilities find it difficult to match payments to specific patients and procedures and often encounter additional processing fees for these payments. Refunds can also be very time consuming. It all tends to be a highly manual process with lots of room for error.
Flywire entered the international healthcare payments business in late 2015 and signed an agreement to be a lead sponsor of USCIPP, the U.S. Cooperative for International Patient Programs in April 2016. USCIPP is a non-profit membership organization comprised of over 60 U.S. academic medical centers, healthcare systems and hospitals operating in the international patient care arena including Boston Children’s Hospital, Philadelphia International Medicine, UPMC, Cook’s Children and other leading US hospitals. Since earlier in the year, Flywire has added eight additional hospitals to its healthcare client roster.
The Flywire for Healthcare payment platform offers comprehensive capabilities for both hospitals and their international patients to help navigate the complex world of global payments:
For international patients:
• The ability to pay from 220 countries and territories, using their local payment vehicle of choice (bank transfer, credit/debit, etc.)
• Discounted currency conversion rates that can offer significant savings when compared to FX rates offered by banks in their home countries
• A safe, secure, easy-to-use online payment experience backed by 24/7 customer service in multiple languages and mobile/online delivery tracking
For care providers:
• Automatic international patient bill notification and tracking
• Online refunds on overpayments
• A convenient online dashboard tracking the status of all payments, 24/7
• Daily reconciliations that match each international payment to the appropriate patient/payer
Flywire CEO, Mike Massaro points to several reasons for the strong growth in the company’s healthcare payment business. “There is a new demographic emerging that we call ‘global citizens.’ This group is not bound by borders in terms of lifestyle or access to services. Medical care is one of the largest areas of growth with this segment. As this group grows, and these types of large, cross-border transactions become more commonplace, these consumers expect convenient and familiar payment options. They want the ability to pay in their local currency, and expect to be able to contact someone in their local language when they have a payment-related question. Flywire takes care of all of that and more – so the hospitals can focus on what they do best.”
David Herrick, Flywire’s general manager of healthcare, adds, “Payments used to be an after-thought in international healthcare, but as international medical travel becomes more common and more funds change hands, it is taking on greater significance – for both patient and hospital. Healthcare providers that are serious about attracting more international patients are addressing the challenges surrounding payments – by offering those patients a stress-free, localized payment experience; and streamlining their own international payment collection and reconciliation efforts in the back office.”← Back to Articles