Healthcare organizations are on the frontlines of the Coronavirus crisis. Doctors, nurses, first responders, practitioners and volunteers around the world are putting their lives at risk every hour of every day to help treat patients and contain the virus. Their courage, focus and resilience are an example to all of us.
The pandemic is also putting the healthcare industry in the spotlight in more ways than one. Much has been reported about the need to improve how we handle policies like paid sick leave, and critically, how consumers are impacted financially, leading to even bigger challenges in their affordability of out of pocket medical expenses, especially as they relate to specialized or unplanned visits.
As a result of Coronavirus, the world is becoming acutely aware of the long-standing affordability gap in healthcare, which also has a downstream impact on provider collectability. Before the COVID-19 health crisis, 47% of Americans struggled to pay a balance of $400. This gap will only widen with the financial strain that COVID-19 is putting on consumers, while hospitals are faced with revenue challenges from postponing elective procedures to prepare for COVID-19 treatment, and collecting from patients with less available cash.
This trend is a big concern for our healthcare clients and we are working with them in several different ways to help address it, including:
Our healthcare team continues to field a number of questions that we thought would benefit others involved in healthcare payments. We’ve shared some of them below and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
Redundancy and resilience are native to Flywire’s payments network and platform. Our digital-first approach, operations and business continuity plans minimize any potential disruptions to the flow of monies. And our relationships with the world's top banking institutions and trusted regional and local payment partners enable us to offer the most convenient payment options and minimize risk in the face of market uncertainty.
As we all know, healthcare costs have been a hot button issue in this country for some time. But, the outbreak is putting patient affordability and engagement even further under the microscope. The entire industry is scrambling to find new solutions that will make it easier for consumers to pay for care they need and engage with providers in real-time. Options like automated and personalized payment plans will have to become more mainstream.
That’s a great step. There are a lot of important innovations being made in the areas of telemedicine and remote care that address efficacy concerns and ensure patient safety in this pandemic. Healthcare systems need more ways to engage with patients, especially in high-risk scenarios like this.
We are not concerned about any financial impact of our business that could be caused by private insurers stepping up. We are one, but not the only, player in the market who is focused on increasing affordability and improving patient financial outcomes. In times of crisis like this, it’s critical that service providers augment their offerings to help patients and mitigate risk. We are proud to be one part of this larger strategy.