This will be the year that health systems in China begin to modernize payments in preparation for creating more consumer-centered experiences, which should be built atop modern, secure and standardized payment systems, a report released by PwC showed on Tuesday.
In China, traditional hospital payment systems encounter inefficiencies in processing. In recent years, new methods of payments, such as mobile payments, patient cards and social insurance IC card, have been developed and widely put into practice. Mobile payments speed up the process by streamlining; patient cards allow people to deposit cash for healthcare services and social insurance IC cards link healthcare payments with patients' social insurance accounts.
Nevertheless, new challenges have emerged with the use of these new payment approaches. For example, a cross-hospital payment system is absent while each hospital may have complex, multiple payment systems. Furthermore, a lack of regulations leaves third-party payment platforms exposed to security risks, the report said.
Looking forward, China will see an integration of payment systems into a one-stop platform that improves patients' experiences at health facilities by process simplification, standardization and risk reduction. Stakeholders, including health facilities, insurers, pharmaceutical benefits management institutions and third-party payment platforms, will converge to optimize profits of the integrated payment system, the report noted.