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Digging deeper on the benefits of going paperless

Health plans see a variety of benefits from paperless payments processes

4 min read



Sustainability continues to be an important factor for consumers in their interactions with businesses and organizations, with 66% of consumers and 80% of young Americans saying that they are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. We previously shared the benefits of going green and how a transition to digital payment processes helps meet sustainability initiatives. Further exploration reveals the critical role health plans and digitization play in creating the type of sustainability that modern healthcare consumers expect.

Additional cost savings

Reducing costs remains top of mind for health plan leaders. Going green often involves adopting energy-efficient technologies and sustainable practices that can lead to cost savings in the long run. Communicating these cost-efficient measures to members can create additional appeal, especially for those who are mindful of both environmental and economic factors.

Some of the environmental impacts associated with paper-based payments are lesser-known, but they still drive up costs. These include:

  1. Loss of trees
  2. Gas and oil to power vehicles
  3. Material for envelopes and postage
  4. Water use
  5. Human capital

All of these impacts drive up costs—particularly during inflationary periods– when multiplied by thousands, or even millions, of checks. Digital payments and communications reduce waste and and can allow for a redirect of resources.

Show that you’re listening

Going green is one way to show your members and providers that you are listening to them. Embracing sustainable practices not only demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility, it also signals that the company is attuned to the preferences and concerns of its stakeholders. In today’s socially conscious marketplace, consumers are increasingly prioritizing eco-friendly choices, and businesses that align with these values are more likely to resonate with their target audience.

Sustainable initiatives foster a positive brand image and build a sense of trust and loyalty among members and providers who appreciate and support environmental responsibility. Going green is a powerful way for a business to demonstrate its awareness of, and responsiveness to, the evolving expectations of its customer base.

Engage employees and improve provider retention

A focus on sustainability also helps increase employee engagement and morale and can align organizations with providers’ and members’ values. Employees, providers and members, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are more invested when they know that an organization cares about social responsibility. According to Greener Ideal, 61% of millennials listed sustainability as a deciding factor on where to work. Additionally, about 60% of Generation Z workers said they would not work for a company that did not have sustainable business practices.

This will become increasingly important for organizations to consider as Millennials already make up nearly 40% of the workforce and by 2030, Generation Z will make up about 30%.

In addition to benefits for employee recruitment and engagement, “going digital with payments also improves provider relationships by ensuring faster payments and clearer transactions,” said Eugene Hahn, Vice President of Sales, Zelis.

The key: Modernizing administrative processes

Health plans that modernize their administrative processes, particularly payments processes, can position themselves for cost savings, sustainability, engaged membership and long-term financial viability. Digital payment options, paperless billing and consolidated workflows allow plans to meet the evolving expectations of both healthcare professionals and consumers.

How Zelis can help

Zelis is modernizing the healthcare financial experience by providing a connected platform that bridges the gaps and aligns interests across payers, providers and healthcare consumers. Zelis sees across the healthcare system to identify, optimize and solve problems holistically with technology built by healthcare experts – driving real, measurable results for clients.

The Zelis Advanced Payments Platform (ZAPP) allows payers to fully manage payments and communications in one integrated portal. The ZAPP platform reduces system complexity, streamlines operations and can lead to easier digital adoption across the payment cycle for members and providers. To learn more about how ZAPP can help your organization meet its sustainability initiatives through streamlined digital adoption, visit or contact a Zelis representative.