Digital payments in Healthcare
It's Time to Go Digital with Your Payments: Here's Why
October 11, 202214:40 PM
Digital payments in Healthcare
October 11, 202214:40 PM
During the lockdown, the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzes the rapid digitization in many sectors. Healthcare has been the most important sector during these turbulent times. Hospitals, pharmacies, and paramedics had to rethink their processes immediately to ensure compliance with the coronavirus outbreak. Digitizing the entire process was one of the best ways to do this.
Patients became more hesitant about visiting clinics or hospitals as social distancing became the norm. Alternate ways of getting help saw an increase almost immediately. To reduce the spread of disease, many healthcare providers have started using digital transformation payment methods.
That a major open digital ecosystem (ODE) will unlock more than $200 billion in economic value by 2030. In addition, standardized digital practices will make the ecosystem more efficient, saving $40-50 billion.
This projection is likely to hold, as over 5 million Indians accessed teleconsultation services in 2000 cities during the lockdown. Because there was already a strong digital infrastructure, this surge was possible. However, the sector was overwhelmed by changes, such as cancelling elective procedures, gaining momentum from virtual interactions, and remote staff working.
While the pandemic in India drove most of these changes, they are likely to continue. Digital payments, made possible by demonetization, have allowed India's healthcare sector to become contactless. Digital payments will also facilitate healthcare digital payment trends.
By facilitating faster processing, streamlining manual processes, and reducing discrepancies.
The lockdown restrictions gave the already flourishing online pharmacy industry a boost. Due to restrictions on people's movements, over-the-counter sales saw a dramatic drop. In addition, patients with pre-existing conditions had to be able to purchase essential medicines. These customers decided to switch to online pharmacies immediately. These pharmacies offer convenience and value-added services, such as rebates, discounts, and lucrative cashback. Leading pharmacies like 1mg, Pharmeasy, and Netmeds have also begun to offer online lab testing and virtual doctor consultations.
FICCI released an industry report that showed that India's households used e-pharmacy services in the wake of the pandemic-induced lockdown. This amounted to about 2.5 million. These numbers can be attributed to increased internet penetration, mobile availability, and a strong digital infrastructure supporting various payment modes. These 8.8 million households have been using a digital platform for several months and will likely continue ordering essentials online after the pandemic.
Healthcare is a complex business. Digital payments in healthcare make billing a breeze. The bill generation and payment process can be automated through digital platforms and portals, eliminating the hassle for patients and their families. In addition, digital platforms and portals store patient information, which reduces the time spent at billing counters and increases customer satisfaction.
Agency and policy providers can share reminders about insurance payments just as you get personalized communication to repay loans. These portals can store your information, such as your name, preferred transaction mode, and dues. They also share reminders. Once you have received this information, paying the dues is only a click away.
Settlements also have shorter cycles because digital information is readily available to calculate and disburse the amount.
A medical bill is full of details and includes Sometimes, this confuses the patient and his or her family. Digital payments allow for every rupee to be tracked and accounted for. Therefore, it is impossible to misappropriate funds. Trust and confidence are built when the patient agrees with the bill. Any discrepancies and misunderstandings can be corrected immediately. The same will be reflected on a real-time basis.
Digitalization has made it possible to reduce the need for manual intervention. The chances of human error being overlooked are virtually zero. The staff can now spend their time on customer service and not be tallied. Digital payment platforms also store tonnes of data securely and allow for easy forecasting, customization, and inventory management. All this is done in a matter of seconds!
Dr. Lal Pathlabs was one of India's top diagnostic chains and announced the national lockdown. Their digital platform allowed customers to communicate, book tests, and pay digitally. Patients could also access payment options using Ongo PoS terminals to facilitate cashless transactions. These solutions help customers regain confidence in visiting the labs and simplify business processes by digitizing them.
Although telemedicine and virtual consultations were already available long before the pandemic hit, there has been an increase in the number of portals. According to Niti Ayog's report, all frontline healthcare workers face a high risk for infection. The organisation encourages digital consultations during these times. These virtual platforms allow patients to be seen online, particularly in rural areas.
Patients from remote areas do not need to travel to metropolitan areas for treatment. Digital payments were a major obstacle to the development of telemedicine. Consultation fee payment was an issue because most villages didn't have electricity and were not digitally literate.
Patients can now easily access e-consultation via the internet and pay using their preferred digital options like UPI and cards.
Digital payments have greatly disrupted the healthcare sector. As a result, institutions can create loyalty programs, offer discounts on delivery, and tie up with payment providers to receive rebates. This will help customers retain their business and build brand awareness.
Customers can also compare prices and services with an increasing number of online pharmacies, consultation portals, and pathology labs. This will result in the customer having the power to choose and the sector becoming customer-centric. In addition, many service providers will look to digital options to provide holistic services that offer payment processing and add value to their customers.
A September 2018 report by the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) on digital systems within healthcare, hospitals, clinics, and other digital healthcare providers is constantly looking for ways to digitize. The majority of NHS organisations can achieve absolute digitalization by 2023.
Digital technology isn't just being used in the healthcare and medical industries. This is happening around the globe. Many hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare institutions are moving to a digital-only business and operational model.
The future is now a matter of when. But, the future is already here. If you don't make the necessary changes to keep up with the times, your company will be behind your competitors.