At AccessOne, staying on the lookout for technological advancements is part of our job.
This not only helps us leverage the right tools to make affordable healthcare a reality for all patients, but it also allows us to provide our customers with the technology they need to keep their revenue cycle management optimized.
One such technology is ChatGPT, one of the most advanced artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots available on the market. As is to be expected with new technology, opinions are divided: some trust ChatGPT’s usefulness, while others are more skeptical.
However, there’s no denying that AI is going to drive change in all industries, including healthcare. Read on as we dive into what ChatGPT is, and our take on how it will impact healthcare.
First Things First, What Is ChatGPT?
AI? Chatbot? What?
To put it simply, ChatGPT is a language processing tool that has been trained with vast amounts of text data (websites, books, social media, news articles, and more) to respond to a user’s queries.
It was developed by OpenAI, and unlike Siri or other simple voice assistants, ChatGPT is trained on a much larger scale, with human input, and under human supervision (something known as RLHF—Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback).
And there’s more: ChatGPT is a type of generative AI, which means that it continues to learn over time as more information is collected.
All it takes to use ChatGPT (for free) is a quick registration with an email address or a Google or Microsoft account. As of 2023, ChatGPT has over 100 million users, making it the most quickly-adopted AI tool ever.
Using ChatGPT is easy—think of it as having a conversation with somebody who knows pretty much everything and can process that knowledge in real-time. Just type in a prompt and wait for the chatbot to respond.
People have been creative with their requests, and ChatGPT has shown that it can debug and write code, write research papers, and create meal plans with recipes and ingredient lists.
Sure, pretty amazing stuff, but what can it do for healthcare?
Four Healthcare Use Cases for ChatGPT
As with other industries, healthcare and ChatCPT could get along just fine.
We think that ChatGPT (and other AI tools) will eventually help providers better manage their revenue cycles. Healthcare revenue cycle management remains a point of contention for providers. Issuing and collecting payment still rely on manual tasks, from reviewing data and getting pre-authorization from insurance companies, to helping patients make their payments.
What could ChatGPT accomplish when applied to patient payments technology? Well, we can think of a few things.
1. Payment Reminders and Notifications
ChatGPT could be used to send automated reminders and notifications to patients regarding upcoming payments, bill due dates, and payment confirmations.
This would ensure timely payments and reduce the administrative burden on healthcare providers.
Not only that, but ChatGPT could contact patients according to what they indicate as their preference for communication channels. In other words, no more analyzing if a patient prefers text, email, or a phone call reminder.
2. Billing Inquiries and Support
Many patient questions are repeated over and over. ChatGPT could answer common questions related to billing and payments, such as clarifying charges, explaining insurance coverage, and providing guidance on patient payment plans.
This would help reduce call volumes and waiting times while providing patients with instant access to the information they need.
Because AI language models can be trained, questions could be tailored to each patient’s circumstances. For example, if a patient has a high deductible, the bot could be trained to ask things like “Would it be helpful to pay incrementally?” or “Would you like me to review payment plan options with you?”
3. Personalized Financial Education
ChatGPT could also deliver tailored financial education and tips to patients based on their individual situations, helping them make informed decisions about their healthcare expenses and patient payment options.
By analyzing data about each individual’s insurance status—and even average pricing for different procedures—ChatGPT could give patients price estimates and educate them on their financial responsibility before a procedure.
Price transparency and financial education could translate to patient satisfaction and loyalty—in fact, 60% of patients who know the cost of a planned medical service will proceed with that service.
4. Payment Plan Setup and Management
Think of ChatGPT as someone who’s always there to assist patients in setting up and managing payment plans, and to help them choose the best option based on their financial situation.
This personalized approach would improve the patient experience and increase the likelihood of timely payments.
Because of the personal nature of finances, patients might feel more comfortable asking a language model like ChatGPT their questions, rather than having a face-to-face discussion during their appointment with a provider.
A Quick Conversation With ChatGPT
Are all these potential use cases just speculation? Perhaps for now, but the potential to improve patient payments with AI is real.
We decided to put ChatGPT to the test, and see if the responses were up to our standards.
As we believe that the right patient payments technology has the power to make healthcare affordable for everyone and bring in the revenue that provider need, we posed the following question:
Hey ChatGPT, what are three trends in patient payments technology?
Here are ChatGPT’s answers and AccessOne’s take on those responses.
Trend #1. Price Transparency Tools
Lack of price transparency is a major challenge in the healthcare system, making it difficult for patients to anticipate and compare the costs of medical services. By implementing digital tools that provide clear and accurate cost estimates, healthcare providers can empower patients to make informed decisions about their care. These tools can also help patients avoid surprise medical bills and better plan for their healthcare expenses.
The AccessOne Take
Yes, we agree.
Not only is this a good practice that helps patients make better decisions, but it’s also a significant factor in building patient trust. Patients view price transparency as an extension of their care—surprise bills are not conducive to building positive patient-provider relationships.
With the passing of the No Surprises Act, organizations can also face financial consequences if they fail to outline patient financial responsibilities before treatment, or if they bill patients more than the in-network cost for surprise medical bills.
Trend #2. Online Payment Platforms
Online payment platforms simplify the billing process by allowing patients to view and pay their medical bills through user-friendly interfaces. Patients can easily access their account balances, make payments using various methods (e.g., credit card, bank transfer), and set up payment plans if necessary. By offering a seamless, secure, and convenient online payment experience, healthcare providers can increase patient satisfaction and improve the overall payment process.
The AccessOne Take
The digital experience is critical for healthcare organizations, from making an appointment to making patient payments. When it’s digital, research shows payment is made more quickly—it can also cut collection and paper bill costs.
The best option is a mobile payment solution that integrates with SMS messaging, as users face the least amount of friction in a process that doesn’t require a login or a password.
Trend #3. Mobile Apps and Text Notifications
Mobile applications and text notifications can be used to send patients timely reminders about their upcoming appointments, outstanding balances, and payment due dates. This can help patients stay informed and engaged with their healthcare finances, reducing late or missed payments. Additionally, mobile apps can enable patients to track their healthcare expenses, access billing information, and connect with customer support teams for assistance with any payment-related questions or concerns.
The AccessOne Take
Mobile pay options help providers become more efficient when it comes to healthcare revenue cycle management. It also positions them to drive patient payments by eliminating barriers to payment, like confusing payment systems.
Here’s a staggering fact: more than 80% of patients prefer digital patient payments solutions. And here’s a real-world example: when BestMed introduced AccessOne MobilePay, they increased overall patient revenue by 27%.
AccessOne: A Leader in Healthcare Technology
If this exercise with ChatGPT has demonstrated anything, it’s the potential of AI in the patient payments space.
While generative AI still has a long way to go before it can become a subject matter expert, it certainly could improve both patient payments and healthcare revenue cycle management for providers.
Our team is excited to see how generative AI continues to evolve, and how it can be incorporated into the patient payment experience.