When it comes to healthcare trends in 2022, Covid-19 will continue to cast a long shadow, just as it did in 2020 and 2021. But the sheer duration of this pandemic means it’s no longer feasible for consumers to ignore other, more personal healthcare priorities.
Whether they like it or not, in other words, patients have to get back out there, and healthcare providers who can help them get the care they need at price points they can manage will stand out from the competition.
The pandemic has made automation more attractive than ever
With healthcare consumers and providers under financial pressure from the pandemic, medical, dental, and other healthcare practices are exploring ways to make payments easier for patients as we continue slogging through an acute public-health crisis now entering its third year.
To help healthcare providers establish priorities for making their services more readily available to patients whose finances have been stretched thin, and whose outlooks have been clouded by uncertainty, we’ll describe the financial landscape physicians, dentists, and other practitioners confront in 2022.
- Compressed margins
35% of hospitals had negative margins in the second half of 2021. The omicron surge will have done nothing to blunt this trend in the first half of 2022.
- Mixed spending picture
Spending was higher early in 2021 over the same period in 2020, but this improvement fell short of GDP growth.
- Widening insurance gaps
About 10% of US adults under age 30 lack health insurance. And personal spending among the healthcare-insured is expected to rise nearly 10% a year through 2026. And among Americans over 65, more than a quarter couldn’t scrape together $500 for medical bills, and a third of patients — insured or not — run into problems with healthcare billing or debt-management. Further, almost 20% of patients have unpaid healthcare-expense debt, with these individuals owing, on average, $429.
“This picture calls for action by healthcare professionals,” says Dmitry Voronenko, CEO and co-founder of TurnKey Lender. “Across the board, they’re under pressure to be more efficient, more attuned to budget and cash flow analysis, and more sensitive to their patients’ financial constraints.”
Telehealthcare and automated payment processing are here to stay
Marc Pickren, head of TurnKey Lender’s business in the Americas, agrees. “Healthcare providers have to start offering financing options, and they need to do it on a platform that makes fast and accurate credit decisions, enhances provider-patient relationships, and provides insightful data analysis,” he says.
While digital transformation may not be the first thought for many doctors and dentists, many of them have been using a gateway technology from the earliest days of the pandemic: telemedicine. According to the Centers for Disease Control, telehealth visits increased by 50% just in the first quarter of 2020. Just in one week in the spring of 2020 telehealth visits increased by 154% over the same period just one year before.
“The distance between providing online consultations to taking a ‘buy now, pay later’ approach to healthcare payments using an intuitive, user-friendly platform is extremely short,” says Voronenko. “Like telehealth’s relationship to the pandemic, BNPL for healthcare is a story of a set of technologies being there, ready and waiting to meet the needs of businesses and consumers confronting new realities.”
Technology has advanced, making BNPL offerings from fintechs like TurnKey Lender essentially “plug and play.” Healthcare providers can set their own lending criteria based on actual client behavior and real-world market conditions — criteria that can be customized to match prevailing economic realities in different geographic regions.
Understanding the difference artificial intelligence can make
For TurnKey Lender, the linchpin of next-level functionality is its artificial intelligence. With credit scoring and underwriting two of the biggest challenges for lenders, TurnKey Lender’s AI-driven solutions benefit lenders and loan applicants alike by taking the guesswork out of credit decisioning.
TurnKey Lender’s self-learning algorithms empower healthcare practices to make faster, more accurate, and more profitable credit decisions, avoiding human error, lengthy loan-approval processes, and substandard fraud protection. The lending-automation provider’s advanced self-learning algorithms enable lenders to analyze large sets of consumer data and make more informed risk evaluations and credit-scoring decisions than ever before.
Using TurnKey Lender, financing applications can be analyzed not just on the basis of traditional criteria such as biographical questionnaires and credit-bureau scores, but on behavioral-finance inputs such as spending habits and track records for meeting general financial obligations.
As a result, healthcare practitioners can make headway with underserved demographics through fast and accurate lending and loan management.
Besides its utility in credit decisioning and underwriting, lending-oriented AI also contributes to the healthcare practice’s advanced psychometrics profiling, takes care of compliance concerns and regulatory updates, and provides greater cybersecurity.
Finally, a lending system’s AI powers deep and powerful analytics that can help your firm understand its patient base and discover new ways to serve them better.
BNPL is an absolute game-changer for the healthcare industry
With your patient financing on autopilot, you can look forward to spending more time on patients, and less time worrying about payments. Among other benefits healthcare practices working with TurnKey Lender technology are:
- Increase average medical billing per patient by up to 120%
- An average 17% increase in billings
- Up to 93% of patients return to your practice because of your flexible payment options
- Better relationships with patients by not outsourcing BNPL to third-party providers
- Avoiding “income seasonality” by distributing payments throughout the year
- Competitive advantages from instantly evaluating and approving patient financing
“We’re inviting healthcare entrepreneurs to imagine a world where patients can make flexible payments spread out over time instead of having to pay, on the spot, for out-of-pocket expenses, co-payments, and deductibles,” says X. “These game-changing advantages are a result of using reliable, user-friendly technology instead of outsourcing the financing piece to a bank or other third party.”
In-house financing also keeps your patients’ information in-house, including financing decisions and sensitive health data is specifically tailored to the needs of healthcare practices.
“When it comes to financing technology, medical and dental practitioners need safety, security, speed, reliability, and all the help they need getting up and running quickly,” says Voronenko. “TurnKey delivers on all fronts.”