Semafone survey says majority of patients will leave healthcare providers if payment or personal information is compromised

BOSTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) –Semafone®, the leading provider of data security and compliance solutions for call and contact centers, today released its 2021 State of the Health Care and Safety Payment Experience Survey, which aimed to identify the underlying sentiment of consumers about payment experiences with their healthcare providers.

Over the past 20+ months, the healthcare system has experienced significant challenges and turbulence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers of all sizes have been pushed to their limits in all directions, including accelerating important digital transformation initiatives to securely scale workflows and provide safe patient care. In fact, 81% of healthcare executives say the pace of their organization’s digital transformation is accelerating, and 93% say they are innovating with a sense of urgency to compress transformation initiatives from a decade into plans over two or three years, depending on Accenture. Semafone’s survey reinforces the need for healthcare facilities to integrate technology and digital solutions across all areas of the business ecosystem, including secure payment technology to provide peace of mind and ensure patients a secure and transparent payment experience.

The main findings of the report include:

Large hospital networks must regain confidence

Today’s patient experience doesn’t end when the doctor leaves the room – it encompasses all aspects of care, including the payment and billing process. Between large hospital networks, private practices, specialists and emergency care, the survey found that less than half of respondents (44%) believed that private practices processed payments and personally identifiable information from the hospital. most secure way, and large hospital networks were rated even less at 33%. With a 25% increase year-over-year healthcare data breaches and reports With hospitals accounting for 30% of all significant data breaches, patients have an increased sense of awareness and interest in the processes their providers use to protect their information. Because of the extensive networks they serve, large hospital entities, in particular, need to pay more attention to the digital transformation measures taken to ensure information security.

“Regardless of its size, the entire healthcare industry needs to do better to navigate and prevent data breaches,” said Gary E. Barnett, CEO of Semafone. “The large number of violations in and out of health care is problematic. Fortunately, there are solutions that provide security and help meet compliance standards, but many businesses today still rely on outdated processes for their operations. It is no longer acceptable to pretend that they do not know that there are highly efficient, effective and automated solutions to save time, money and risk. Healthcare organizations need to research the right technologies and processes to protect the patient experience. ”

Patient expectations are high

With so much choice and information available, consumer expectations have increased. Their perceptions of their health care providers will impact the future of health care for generations to come. Many fail to remember that contact centers are often the first point of interaction for patients and therefore should be a critical area in healthcare safety, or they risk losing patients. Semafone’s survey found that two-thirds of consumers (66%) say they would leave a healthcare provider if their payment or personal information was compromised in a data breach due to lack of action. supplier security. In addition, nearly 90% of consumers believe that healthcare providers should face financial penalties if they do not have appropriate safeguards in place to protect their personal or sensitive information in the event of a breach. data breach.

“No organization will ever be able to predict or prevent every potential breach, but taking action to reduce risk and protect PII is crucial,” Barnett said. “By breaking into a single contact center system, cybercriminals can move from one network infrastructure to another, jeopardizing the entire healthcare organization and exposing sensitive patient data. . We must take action to combat these threats and respond to growing demands. consumers to secure data with readily available technology. If we don’t, the potential for data exposure could be reason enough for patients to leave healthcare organizations altogether.

Adopting balanced technology solutions, ensuring both data security and patient care, is essential for providers. When discussing patient protection, payment security should be seen as an equally important element alongside HIPPA and HITRUST in meeting and exceeding patient expectations.

The approach, preference and view of payments has changed

Driven by the ongoing pandemic, consumers have changed the way they pay medical bills and bills from payments in person (28% decrease) and by mail (17% decrease) to alternatives like online systems via provider or website (15% increase), mobile apps (23% increase) and phone (8% increase). As billing becomes increasingly digital, it is imperative to have solutions that support payment compliance regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), in accordance with the confidentiality measures put in place to protect other sensitive data, to implement secure frameworks.

Amid changes in preferences, healthcare providers need to be transparent about the secure methods and technology used across channels. Although consumers are convinced that healthcare providers are doing a good job disclosing how they protect payment information (79%), the survey found that more than half (56%) do not know where the payment information is. data is stored. As a patient, it is important to understand where and how personal and payment information is stored to protect against fraud and potential breaches, in addition to building confidence that providers are complying with HIPPA and other regulations. of compliance. Since many do not know where their data is stored, providers have the opportunity to increase education and communication with patients to, in turn, improve the experience and overall feeling towards providers. for the future.

Even with all the challenges endured and the processes adopted over the past year and a half, the healthcare industry still faces an uphill battle to secure personal data and information. The risk of fraud and data breach has not ceased amid the pandemic. As the industry enters a new year, it’s time to take ownership of the data and ensure the patient experience is the best it can be.


Dynata, the world’s largest first-party data platform for insight, activation, and measurement, conducted this survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers (ages 18-65 and older) on behalf of Semafone.

About Semafone

Semafone provides secure, hybrid and on-premise cloud solutions to contact centers and all businesses accepting payments. In a digital world that has evolved into remote working environments, its premium Payment solutions allow organizations to securely collect personal data across all channels, including phone, live chat, social media, email, SMS, and QR codes. Through Semafone’s patented data capture methods, sensitive information such as payment cards or bank details and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including Social Security numbers, is collected directly from the customer for processing. This method of data capture prevents PIIs from entering the business and IT infrastructure, protecting against the risk of fraud and associated reputational damage, ensuring compliance with industry regulations such as PCI DSS. Semafone’s suite of solutions creates a seamless omnichannel experience that increases sales conversion rates and boosts customer loyalty, while simplifying compliance.

Founded in 2009, the company now supports clients in 26 countries on five continents. Semafone is vertically agnostic and its large customer base includes companies such as Amica Mutual Insurance, British Sky Broadcasting, BT Group and Sutter Health.

Livingbridge is a major investor in Semafone.

As a recognized global leader in secure voice transactions, Semafone’s technology is integrated with more than 40 payment service providers. Semafone has obtained the main security and payment certifications: ISO 27001: 2013, UK Cyber ​​Essentials certification, PA-DSS certification for its payment solution Cardprotect, PCI DSS level 1 service provider, Visa merchant agent of Level 1 registered and Mastercard Site Data Protection (SDP) Authorized service provider compliant. To find out more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.