Tell us a little bit about yourself and HealthPay24.
I’m Julie Gerdeman and I am the Chief Executive Officer at HealthPay24, a healthcare technology company focused on improving the financial experience for providers and their patients.
I’ve been involved in the technology and payments industry for most of my career, holding leadership positions in sales, marketing, and customer success within JP Morgan, American Express, and SAP Ariba. During my SAP tenure, I was a member of the board of directors for Apparent Financing, an SAP.io funded start-up that leveraged data analytics to facilitate financing for small businesses. I also served as the SAP Ariba global executive sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion.
I am very passionate about the intersection between healthcare and technology and inspired by projects that elevate patient experience, trust and transparency, interoperability, and digital health.
As CEO, I currently lead HealthPay24’s corporate strategy, product innovation, and customer experience including expansions into new provider markets. We maintain a maniacal focus on delivering cutting-edge innovation and intuitive patient payment technologies to offer patient-driven, fully automated software for healthcare providers.
To learn more about what we do, please visit us at www.healthpay24.com.
Why has the healthcare industry been so slow to adopt the latest technology solutions for payments?
Healthcare organizations generally have had unique needs which have led to delays in adopting the latest innovative technologies. In addition, many of the initial EMR rollouts impacted organizations’ business continuity. These challenging experiences plus the complexity of complying with HIPAA most likely contributed to the fear of adopting new technologies and sharing data. Having said this, the way consumers need and want to access healthcare has been permanently altered by the current pandemic, resulting in accelerated adoption of digital tools and interoperability in healthcare.
With this momentum from consumerism and demand for tech interoperability, it is our belief that by implementing a platform like the one Healthpay24 offers, organizations will quickly realize the benefits of using a modern payments solution.
What’s the optimal payment experience look like in healthcare? Does it require personalization?
As healthcare continues to pivot towards consumerism, an optimal experience in healthcare will be similar to when individuals shop on ecommerce sites or book and pay for an airline ticket. Personalization and self-service tools are key, i.e., the ability to book my own appointment, the ability to pay using my preferred payment method, and the ability to have price transparency for comparison shopping. With predictive analytics, payment solutions will anticipate and meet patient needs wherever they are on their journey.
Shouldn’t the EHR vendors have solved this? How do you approach EHR vendor integration with your solution?
EHR vendors are mainly designed for capturing clinical information with limited capabilities for payments collections. HealthPay24 complements existing EHR solutions by providing an integrated platform that is solely focused on improving the financial patient experience. We currently have customers that utilize our platform in conjunction with their EMR solutions providers including Allscripts, Cerner, EPIC, Meditech, and NextGen to name just a few.
How do you approach patient financial engagement differently across specialties? What are some of the nuances that need to be considered?
One of our true strengths, as well as a differentiator, is our ability to normalize and reconcile data from a variety of different source systems. Based on 20+ years of experience, we have developed a process where we can ensure the correct elements of data are extracted, regardless of the host system, as well as how each host systems can absorb the data post payments to ensure data integrity. This means we can deliver both a consolidated bill and a personalized experience. Hospitals and health systems typically need the most consolidation and flexibility of options to meet all their varied patients’ needs. Specialty practices, like Orthopedics or Fertility, need to tailor their payment methods and financing to ensure patients can afford to pay a typically larger self-pay bill than family practices do, where contactless payments and self-service are often more important.
What’s next for payment solutions? How will telehealth impact this?
Patients as consumers want to have a similar experience in healthcare as they’ve become accustomed to in their day-to-day retail experiences. They are demanding a variety of payment options, like payment plans, loans, and financial assistance, as well as the flexibility to use mobile devices to pay for their care.
The acceleration of using telehealth has forced organizations to create and adopt strategies for a digital environment and contactless options as a means of serving their communities in any situation. As a result, a “digital front door” is the means of operating and serving patients for years to come.
What can the health IT community do to help you and HealthPay24?
First, I’d like to thank the entire healthcare community. Healthcare providers continue to demonstrate grace, strength, and perseverance through this challenging time. There’s no question that the events of 2020 have shown how drastically an industry can change in a year. For those of us in health IT, this year has accelerated digital transformation and galvanized us to develop new innovations. It’s important to me that we continue to raise the standard of financial communication, leading with trust and empathy for providers and patients.
I encourage you to reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have about your patient financial experience. Take a few minutes to explore our platform, services, and unique capabilities, especially our experience in normalizing data from a variety of sources. Data normalization is often overlooked as teams tend to focus on features and functionality with limited concerns on how a disruption in the data flow could affect user experience downstream.
Thank you for this opportunity! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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