HIMSS 2023: Health Care Executives Say They Want More From Payment Systems


A survey of health care leaders presented during the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition found most weren’t very satisfied with the technology they are offering patients.

A version of this article was originally published on Chief Healthcare Executive.® This version has been lightly edited.

Many health care executives say they want more from their health care payments technology, according to a recent survey.

About 7% of executives, or roughly 1 in 14, described themselves as very satisfied with the payment technology used by patients.

The survey was produced by Waystar, a provider of software for health payments and The Health Management Academy. Waystar officials discussed the findings during the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition meeting this week in Chicago, Illinois. The groups said they surveyed leaders from 35 health systems.

Nearly half of the executives surveyed (44%) said they are struggling with a lack of tools and automation capabilities in improving their payment processes.

More than half of the respondents (63%) also cited patient estimates and the prior authorization process (53%) as factors leading to dissatisfaction from patients. Health care executives and patients have derided the prior authorization process, which requires insurers to approve treatments and procedures.

“Today’s complicated and confusing healthcare payments environment frustrates both providers and patients,” Matt Hawkins, chief executive officer of Waystar, said in a statement.

Health systems must understand that patients won’t stick with providers who make paying bills a hassle, said Dave Willis, senior vice president at The Health Management Academy.

“Revenue from patient obligations continues to rise, and the consequences for health systems are very real. Studies have shown that 60% of consumers who received an inaccurate estimate or bill report a desire to switch providers for a better care experience,” Willis said in a statement.

“Amid that backdrop, it is vital for health systems to make improvements in their patient financial experiences as part of their efforts to drive financial stability.”

Hospital leaders have increasingly said they need to make it easier for patients to use all facets of the healthcare system, including technology to pay bills.

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