News | Innovation and Disruption

Innovative startup works to solve billing problems for patients and providers

News | Innovation and Disruption

Innovative startup works to solve billing problems for patients and providers

HFMA members voted Papaya, a mobile app for patient payment, the most innovative startup at HFMA’s Annual Conference.

According to a recent survey conducted by HFMA and CareCredit, 64.1% of respondents placed the patient financial experience as the top or a high priority as relates to consumerism at their organizations.

In acknowledgement of the improved payment experience it offers, Los Angeles-based Papaya was voted the healthcare startup with the most innovative solution for bending the cost curve by healthcare leaders attending HFMA’s Annual Conference in June. Papaya was one of 10 finalists selected via a virtual pitch contest and featured at the conference in the Innovation Hub, sponsored by CareCredit. Papaya’s product is a HIPAA-compliant mobile app that allows consumers to pay any bill by taking a photo of it.

The company is helping to improve the patient experience by partnering with healthcare organizations to offer a payment solution that is seamless for both patient and provider, according to Papaya marketing director Cathy Wong. 

“Our company’s mission is to help alleviate the pain that goes into bill payment,” she said.

Once a patient takes a photo of their bill, the Papaya app sends payment information to the provider to process. From the patient’s perspective, the bill is paid quickly and easily. From the provider’s perspective, less staff is necessary, and payment comes more quickly than a paper check. Any bill, healthcare or otherwise, can be paid via the app, but partnership with Papaya can improve the timing of payments received. 

“Our differentiation is that our app is universal,” Wong said. “No matter who your merchant is, whether we know them or not, we can pay them.”

Nick Mattia, CareCredit’s vice president of sales and client development, said he was proud to support the innovative solutions presented by the contest finalists. 

“We were excited to sponsor the Innovation Hub and help shine a spotlight on some of the forward-thinking visionaries and bold new ideas that are helping to define the future of our industry,” he said. “Solutions like the ones showcased at this event are  
going to have an impact on all of us as healthcare — and the business of healthcare — continues to evolve, so it’s inspiring to get a glimpse of what’s to come and be part of that conversation.”

This is the second consecutive year that HFMA has held the Virtual Pitch Contest, sponsored by CareCredit, a Synchrony solution, in conjunction with its Annual Conference. The competition is designed to offer exposure to startups that show promise for reducing the rate of healthcare cost growth. 

About the Author

Erika Grotto, CHFP, CRCR,

is a content manager at HFMA, Westchester, Ill.


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