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Study Reveals Shortcomings in Patient Financial Experience

Joint survey by Waystar and The Health Management Academy details imperative for providers to improve financial touchpoints

LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 18, 2023 – Less than 7% of executives are very satisfied with their patient-facing financial processes and technology, and nearly half point to insufficient automation as a top barrier to change, according to the  results of a study conducted by Waystar, a leading provider of healthcare payments software, and The Health Management Academy (THMA).

THMA surveyed senior executives from 35 leading health systems (organizations with $2B+ in operating revenue) to obtain their assessment of and current satisfaction with the financial experience they deliver for patients.

Among other findings the research revealed:

  • 44% of executives cited a lack of tools and automation capabilities as a top barrier to making changes to patient-facing financial processes.
  • 77% of providers surveyed currently use a modular approach to vendor relationships in their revenue cycle management processes, leaving gaps in the patient financial journey.
  • The majority of executives surveyed pointed to patient estimates (63%) and prior authorization (53%) as the most challenging touchpoints in delivering a positive financial experience.

“Today’s complicated and confusing healthcare payments environment frustrates both providers and patients,” said Matt Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer of Waystar. “Our research demonstrates that modern technology, when implemented strategically and holistically, has tremendous potential to improve the overall financial experience, resulting in satisfied patients who are more likely to stay with their healthcare provider.”

The survey exposed fragmented processes and legacy technology, with an industry underwhelmed and reluctant to make meaningful changes. Yet, the status quo underscores a growing need to deploy new technology to drive improvements that can boost patient satisfaction and, over time, create patient loyalty – a key indicator to long-term financial success.

“Revenue from patient obligations continues to rise, and the consequences for health systems are very real. Studies have shown that 60% of consumers who received an inaccurate estimate or bill report a desire to switch providers for a better care experience,” said Dave Willis, Senior Vice President at The Health Management Academy. “Amid that backdrop, it is vital for health systems to make improvements in their patient financial experiences as part of their efforts to drive financial stability.”

Waystar announced the survey during the 2023 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition and will be discussing the implications during a panel session on Wednesday, April 19 from 3-4 p.m. CT, held on Level 4, Room #W471B. Find the full report here.

For more information on how technology can help improve the patient financial experience, visit Waystar at Booth #2267 at HIMSS, or visit us online at


About Waystar

Waystar’s mission-critical software is purpose-built to simplify healthcare payments so providers can prioritize patient care and optimize their financial performance. Waystar serves approximately 30,000 clients, representing over a million distinct providers, including 18 of 22 institutions on the U.S. News Best Hospitals list. Waystar’s enterprise-grade platform annually processes over 4 billion healthcare payment transactions, including over $900 billion in gross claims and spanning approximately 50% of U.S. patients. Waystar strives to transform healthcare payments so providers can focus on what matters most: their patients and communities. Discover the way forward at

About The Health Management Academy

Since 1998, The Health Management Academy has cultivated the premier community of healthcare’s most influential changemakers from the top U.S. health systems and innovative industry partners. We power more than 2,000 health system senior executives and 200 industry organizations through exceptional peer groups, original market insights, world-class leadership development programs and novel member alliances. Our industry-leading programs and solutions enable members to facilitate meaningful relationships, navigate strategic transformation and address critical industry issues. To learn more, visit