84% say there needs to be a more streamlined payment system for healthcare
77% want to pay an unexpected medical expense in installments or under a payment plan
Nearly 40% missed a medical bill due to a complex payment system
An increased reliance on the healthcare industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the complexities faced by consumers when it comes to paying for medical expenses. A recent survey of 2,000 adults in the United States commissioned by Flywire Corporation (NASDAQ: FLYW) (Flywire), a global payments enablement and software company, found that 65% of such individuals say billing for medical expenses is too complicated today. Furthermore, 37% said they missed a medical bill because the payment system was complicated. However, if healthcare expenses were accessible in one place, 72% say they would be less likely to miss a payment.
For its new report, What Consumers Want: A Patient Financial Engagement Survey, Flywire examined how patients in the United States are responding to a healthcare system that is undergoing rapid transformation - uncovering issues ranging from affordability and accessibility, to billing and payments.
Questions around health insurance enrollment and complicated health payments processes are frustrating consumers looking to manage their medical bills effectively, with 84% of those surveyed saying there needs to be a more streamlined system for healthcare. Over half (56%) feel confused when it is time to enroll in health insurance, so health systems and insurers have an opportunity to create better experiences ahead of open enrollment in November 2021.
When communicating and paying for medical expenses, consumers prefer digital methods. Forty-one percent say they prefer to use live chat or chatbots to ask questions of their health system, and 38% would prefer to pay via online portal rather than mailing a paper check (28%). Additionally, 77% say technology for healthcare needs to be closer to what they personally use in other areas of their life.
"The healthcare industry needs to have a holistic understanding of what patients need and value from their healthcare financial experience," said John Talaga, EVP & GM, Healthcare, Flywire. "The data uncovered within this survey shows the high consumer demand for easier, more consumer-friendly and transparent payment systems within the healthcare industry. It is our hope that hospitals can use this data to better cater their systems to fit the evolving needs of American consumers."
Americans are struggling to afford rising medical costs, with 40% postponing a medical procedure or treatment because they can’t pay for it. Nearly a quarter (23%) of COVID-19 stimulus recipients said they used their check to pay for medical expenses, resulting in less money to save or spend elsewhere. Nearly half said they are unprepared to pay for unexpected medical expenses in one lump sum (46%).
Still, consumers are confident in solutions to help them better manage their expenses. As many as 77% of those surveyed say they would want to pay an unexpected medical expense in installments or under some type of payment plan. Additionally, 74% say a consolidated view of their healthcare bills would be beneficial for budgeting. In fact, 65% will mostly use online access for their healthcare billing and payments going forward.
"Over the past year, Americans have made significant sacrifices in order to pay for healthcare. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the healthcare industry to modernize, which has set a strong foundation for more efficient and affordable payment solutions for patients around the county," added Talaga. "By empowering the consumer with the flexible and transparent payment options they desire, hospitals and health systems can have wide-ranging positive impacts."
Many Americans have missed out on important life moments or made other sacrifices in order to pay for healthcare, especially when it comes to unexpected expenses. Despite the January 1, 2021 federal rule on price transparency, consumers are facing real-life consequences from surprise medical bills.
Flywire’s complete report can be found here.
Flywire commissioned Regina Corso Consulting to conduct a survey of adults in the United States to understand their perceptions and feelings on a variety of healthcare issues, including billing and payments. This survey is among 2,000 adults in the United States, 18 and older and is balanced by age, gender, region and household income to be representative of the United States as a whole based on the U.S. Census. This survey was conducted online between May 12 and 18, 2021. Notes for reading charts and tables – percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding or because the question was a multiple response allowed item. Unless otherwise indicated, bases for all slides are of the total of 2,000 adults.
Flywire is a global payments enablement and software company. We combine our proprietary global payments network, next-gen payments platform and vertical-specific software to deliver the most important and complex payments for our clients and their customers.
Flywire leverages its vertical-specific software and payments technology to deeply embed within the existing A/R workflows for its clients across the education, healthcare and travel vertical markets, as well as in key B2B industries. Flywire also integrates with leading ERP systems, such as NetSuite, so organizations can optimize the payment experience for their customers while eliminating operational challenges.
Flywire offers its 2,400+ clients more than 250 payment methods and processes payments in more than 240 countries and territories around the world. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA, USA with global offices. For more information, visit www.flywire.com. Follow Flywire on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding our future operating results and financial position, our business strategy and plans, market growth, and our objectives for future operations. Flywire intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as, but not limited to, “believe,” “may,” “will,” “potentially,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “target,” “plan,” “expect,” or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations that involve risks, changes in circumstances, assumptions, and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in Flywire's forward-looking statements include, among others, Flywire’s future financial performance, including its expectations regarding our revenue, cost and operating expenses, including changes in technology and development, selling and marketing and general and administrative expenses (including any components of the foregoing), gross profit and Flywire’s ability to achieve, and maintain, future profitability; Flywire’s business plan and its ability to effectively manage its growth; Flywire’s market opportunity, including estimates regarding its total addressable payment volume; Flywire’s cross-border expansion plans and ability to expand internationally; anticipated trends, growth rates, and challenges in Flywire’s business and in the markets in which it operates; the sufficiency of Flywire’s cash and cash equivalents to meet its liquidity needs; political, economic, legal, social and health risks, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health measures that may affect Flywire’s business or the global economy; beliefs and objectives for future operations; Flywire’s ability to develop and protect its brand; Flywire’s ability to maintain and grow the payment volume that it processes; Flywire’s ability to further attract, retain, and expand its client base; Flywire’s ability to develop new solutions and services and bring them to market in a timely manner; Flywire’s expectations concerning relationships with third parties, including strategic partners; the effects of increased competition in Flywire’s markets and its ability to compete effectively; future acquisitions or investments in complementary companies, products, services, or technologies; Flywire’s ability to enter new client verticals, including its relatively new B2B sector; Flywire’s expectations regarding anticipated technology needs and developments and its ability to address those needs and developments with its solutions; Flywire’s expectations regarding litigation and legal and regulatory matters; Flywire’s expectations regarding its ability to meet existing performance obligations and maintain the operability of its solutions; Flywire’s expectations regarding the effects of existing and developing laws and regulations, including with respect to payments and financial services, taxation, privacy and data protection; economic and industry trends, projected growth, or trend analysis; Flywire’s ability to attract and retain qualified employees; Flywire’s ability to maintain, protect, and enhance its intellectual property; Flywire’s ability to maintain the security and availability of its solutions; the future market price of Flywire’s common stock; and other factors that are described in the "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of Flywire's Prospectus and Flywire’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, both of which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and available on the SEC's website at https://www.sec.gov/.