The need for Behavioral and Technological Shifts to Decrease Paper Usage in Healthcare


Even the most technologically savvy clients may still receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) letter in addition to actual medical treatment invoices. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a gadget screen.

Consumers and providers are still very committed to the dominance of paper in healthcare billing and payments three years after telemedicine became extensively utilized. Key players are still working to alter people’s perceptions of how healthcare is paid for.

“I think the last impression is the enduring one,” said Jeff Lin, president of J.P. Morgan company InstaMed and global co-head of healthcare payments. When we have that gap and talk to the consumers about it, it is not unexpected that 42% of them will switch to a new supplier based on their payment experience.

Healthcare billing and payments today, according to Lin, are “nuanced” since paying a paper invoice with a check is assured, but more and more people want better choices.

There is a well-known fast-food chain that has the motto, “Have it your way. Part of that is that healthcare has to have that same philosophy,” he added, implying that customers want these alternatives accessible as the industry slowly transitions to digital healthcare payments, whether they use them now or in a year.

With reference to the current reality of high deductibles, Lin said that there are “a variety of payment choices” and channels for provider-patient communication, including digital portals. All of these must be presented (and shown again) until customers are convinced enough of the advantages of moving.