Polling shows self-pay patients need more support

The polling shows that patients see self-pay care as very quick, but find the process confusing. Medbelle was founded to improve the patient experience by streamlining and improving healthcare.

Polling shows self-pay patients need more support

A new survey by Medbelle has revealed a lack of confidence about navigating the world of self-pay healthcare, suggesting patients need more support when paying for their own care.

The survey of 2,000 adults, carried out by Opinium and commissioned by Medbelle, found that only a third (36%) of patients are confident they would know they were being offered a fair price for self-pay treatment, and just 42% felt they would even know where to look for a surgeon.

Medbelle was founded to streamline and improve the patient experience, using one-to-one support from individual advisers and digitalisation. The polling results demonstrate a demand from patients for the fragmented world of self-pay healthcare to be more accessible and less confusing.

polling card 1

Less than a fifth 'very confident'

When asked about different aspects of self-pay care, only a small minority said they would be very confident about any of them. Less than one in five respondents said they are ‘very confident’ about the following aspects of self-pay healthcare:

  • Knowing where to look for a doctor or surgeon (14%)
  • Knowing they are being offered a fair price for the procedure (12%)
  • Choosing the best performing hospital or surgeon (14%)
  • Arranging logistics such as invoices (17%)
  • Organising aftercare such as physiotherapy (15%)
  • Knowing who to ask for advice or support about care (15%)

'Patients need more support'

‘What this survey makes clear is that all patients need more support as they negotiate the healthcare system, whether they are paying directly or not.

‘Although self-pay healthcare is likely to be quicker, too many patients still feel overwhelmed about how the system works. Much more needs to be done to provide a more streamlined and joined-up service - partly by embracing digitalisation, which has revolutionised many industries but had little impact on healthcare so far.’

Leander de Laporte, CEO of Medbelle

Read more from Leander

When asked about how they perceive self-pay healthcare, most respondents saw it as quick but expensive. However, there is not widespread agreement that it is a simple process. When asked what word they associated more with self-pay healthcare, around half chose ‘simple’ and half chose ‘complicated’. People are slightly more likely to view it as ‘easy’ as opposed to ‘hard’, but still not by a large majority - 58% to 42%. This suggests that the sector can do more to support patients with the logistics and stresses of healthcare.

The polling was commissioned by Medbelle to find out more about how patients view self-pay healthcare, at a time when more people are considering this option to avoid long waiting lists for procedures. Such patient feedback is a vital part of Medbelle's mission to improve healthcare for all.

Medbelle was set-up to bring the benefits of digitalisation - that have revolutionised so many industries - to the fragmented and often low-tech world of healthcare. Medbelle uses technology and individualised support to provide a more streamlined experience for patients and clinicians, while efficiencies mean prices are more competitive and transparent.

Medbelle is meeting a demand from patients who would otherwise have to navigate the private healthcare system on their own. The ‘digital hospital’ provided by Medbelle brings together the fragmented components of this system and coordinates the patient journey.

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