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Dial up your patient friendly billing with a mobile optimized website.

It's official. We're living in a smartphone nation. Half of all mobile phones today are smartphones, according to a March Nielsen report, and that percentage is on a steady rise. Now that more consumers are armed with the computing power of these smart mobile devices, they're embracing the conveniences and connectivity in droves. And we're not just talking about mobile Web browsing. Today's smartphone users are increasingly interested in mobile Web purchases and payments and in managing their billing statements on the go.

This reality begs the question: How "smart" is your website and, in particular, your patient payment portal?

Mobile Internet traffic increased by 102 percent in 4th quarter 2011 compared to the same time period in 2010, according to a January Walker Sands Mobile Traffic Report. Considering this rapid growth, it is imperative that you optimize your website for mobile viewing and navigation to provide the best user experience. The urgency increases when you factor in the growing number of consumers adopting mobile bill payment. From 2011 to 2012, 33 percent more online consumers opted to pay statements by mobile device, according to Highlights from Fiserv's 2012 Billing Household Survey. Of tablet computer owners who've visited billers' sites on their devices, 61 percent have done so to pay bills. When a patient payment portal is not optimized for mobile traffic, collections opportunities are undoubtedly missed, and many patients are likely left dissatisfied by the lack of the option.

Mobile "App-titude"

If you're aiming to capture the majority of your patient population, the data supports that your best bet is to invest in a mobile-optimized website versus a stand-alone mobile app.

The 2012 Fiserv survey reveals that more consumers access biller sites and payment portals via mobile Web browsers than by mobile apps. Because all smartphones have native Web browsers, consumers (aka, your patients) can quickly access a website, login online, and proceed to payment without having to bother with the added measure of downloading an app. This approach is also advantageous as a mobile-optimized website will look and function well on both smartphones and tablet devices, while a stand-alone app must be configured differently for various screen sizes.

How to 'Mobilize' Your Efforts

So you're convinced. It's time to transform your patient payment solutions to be mobile-ready and patient friendly. How do you make that happen?

Ideally, your website should run with mobile detection, meaning the site automatically detects the type of computer accessing it and loads the appropriate version accordingly. The mobile version of your site should be lean and clean, visually configured to fit mobile screens with simplified navigation and right-sized buttons to accommodate the users' fingers and thumbs that will do all the work. Here are some examples of mobile website screens.


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In addition, here are four more key points to bear in mind.

User friendly = patient friendly. Make certain every button and point of navigation provides an expected outcome for users. Keep all aspects of the site simple, clean, and intuitive; this will help to minimize user hesitation or abandonment of transactions.

Invite users to "pay now." Create a clear path to payment with your mobile site. Make it very simple to see key information, such as amount due and pay-by dates. Likewise, make the pay button prominent and easy to access to encourage quick response.

Prioritize security. Build your site with layered security. Require password confirmations and authentications when accounts are accessed from unrecognized devices. Consider verifying your site's security by a trusted third party.

Seal the e-deal. A patient who's ready for mobile bill payments may also be open to adopting paperless billing. In the 2012 Fiserv survey, nearly half of respondents stated that they would be more likely to convert to electronic statements because of the ability to access a biller's site on their tablet computers. Forty-four percent in the same study reported that paperless billing improved their relationship with the entity. Suffice it to say, it's wise to incorporate the invitation to go paperless into your patient-billing communications.

The Stats Stack Up

By investing in your mobile website, you could ultimately cultivate more prompt payments from patients who will pay by mobile device, and you could save on expenses by reducing the number of people who require printed, mailed statements. Going mobile is the smart decision for our smartphone nation.

Looking for a mobile optimized patient billing portal that can help your organization automate the collection of patient receivables for patients on the go? Take a closer look at Emdeon Patient Pay Online or call us at 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) for more information.




Publication Date: Monday, September 17, 2012