Perception vs. Reality. Is it negatively impacting your healthcare organization? According to Paystream Advisors, electronic payments could help your organization achieve greater financial health, as well as its broader mission of providing value-based, cost-effective, high quality patient care.
However, the healthcare industry as a whole lags behind others, having "a long way to go when it comes to payables automation." In fact, Paystream reports that healthcare accounts payable departments still rely on labor-intensive, time-consuming paper checks for 51% of their payments vs. 43% for other industries.
Resistance to adopting e-payments is due in part to healthcare providers' perceptions — or misperceptions. Busting a few myths could help start a conversation about how to turn your accounts payables department into one that becomes a profit center for the larger organization.
So, according to Paystream Advisors, what are a few common myths?
Myth 1: Lack of budget
It's the reason 36% of healthcare AP departments hesitate to automate. Granted, organizations are operating on tighter margins than ever before; every decision must be weighed for revenue growth, ROI, and availability of working capital. It's also true that some electronic payment solutions are more costly than others.
Generally speaking, though, payments automation is intended to help streamline accounts payable operations and generate revenue for healthcare providers. Seek a solution that not only creates opportunities for valuable rebates, but also effectively incentivizes your suppliers. Their eager participation will allow you to maximize rebates and increase AP efficiencies over time by automating the majority of your supplier payments into one seamless system.
Myth 2: Current processes work
21% of healthcare accounts payable departments are a bit too comfortable to change current systems––as labor-intensive as they are. It seems that AP pain points may need to become more painful before they are willing to introduce change. But there's a problem with that thinking: by keeping the status quo, healthcare organizations are losing out on revenue today and tomorrow.
As healthcare providers and suppliers (as well as the current payments landscape) continue to evolve, paper-based payment processes are unsustainable. Soon enough, healthcare providers will be behind the curve and will need to catch up, which generally requires more effort and money than being proactive in the first place. Look for an e-payment technology provider that not only helps you maximize revenue today, but also assists with your organization's broader, long-term vision to keep you ahead of the curve.
Myth 3: No executive sponsorship
It's true. Smart c-suite executives often expect their teams to innovate, bringing them the ideas that'll move the organization forward, rather than micro-managing. In technology, especially, the answers to creating efficient processes can come from anywhere and anyone. It's often those who are in the trenches day in and out who can clearly see how the process is not working, and how it might work better.
If you bring a solid suggestion to your CFO or Director of Finance, you may just get the back-up you need. Look for a payment automation solution that generates rebates, but is also scalable and forward-thinking, and you're more likely to be heard.
Myth 4: Lack of technical resources to manage an automated solution
If another department has to take on the burden of work, payment automation may never be launched. Some electronic payment solutions are easier to implement and manage, particularly cloud-based systems.
Seek out e-payment software that is not an intensive IT project –– either to setup or to manage. On top of that, find a payments company that provides you with ongoing support. You want the software provider to take problems off your plate, not add them.
Myth 5: There will be no ROI
Naturally, most choices in a Finance Department must take into account return on investment. And, while some electronic payments systems can be costly, some are not.
On your radar: a payments automation solution that requires minimal effort with little to no cost, increases revenue through rebates, streamlines operations, and helps set you up for a more successful future. Too good to be true? There is an option out there, and the returns can be great.
In the end, an electronic payment company should strategize with you. The software solution should help you increase revenue today and reach your overarching organizational goals. Look for an electronic payments provider that offers a consultative, proactive plan that'll help you optimize your payment strategy and usher you safely into the future.