case study : OODAPAY payment platform

Focus on healing, not paperwork.

We've all been through it, the cacophony of medical billing. From Explanation of Benefits (that aren't really bills) to legitimate bills arriving months later, all from a single point of care. This is where OODA's journey to create real-time payments in healthcare begins.

On May 13, 2021, Cedar announced agreement to acquire OODA Health.

my role

System models
Wireframing & testing
Experience design (UX)
Interface design (UI)
Design system
User testing

platforms

Responsive web

Imagine being asked to design a healthcare billing experience that members would love and rate closer to their consumer products? This was the challenge I was eager to take on when I joined OODA.

As their first design hire, my initial responsibility was strategizing with product and engineering to design an experience that would be intuitive enough that any behavior change would feel natural, with very little friction.

But this problem wasn't just about making it easier for someone to pay their bill. This needed to be a systemic change and not just another widget. We started asking ourselves: what if it wasn't merely easier for doctors to manage their billing but removed that burden from their practice all together?

What if payers — who already have all the pertinent information on their members and their insurance plans — take over the entire billing infrastructure? What if the member received only one, unified bill for their care visit — and could actually understand it?

Realigning roles.

In order to reach this problem at the system level, we had to fundamentally realign each of the three roles (providers, payers, members) that make up the American healthcare system and empower each to do what they do best.

For example, providers could focus solely on delivering high-quality care, while payers would be empowered to engage their members with a billing and payment experience that would be consistent across their provider network.

And we would all bear the fruits of this, reducing the financial stress so we can focus on getting better.

Understanding touch points.

Changing behavior is hard. We needed to understand all the various touch points a member experienced along their billing journey (after their care visit). I began by evaluating various Explanation of Benefits (EOB), the multitude oof bills a member would receive — labs, hospital stay, specialists, etc.

I wound up scrapping the EOB all together and iterated on a single, consolidated billing statement. I blended a members plan information alongside the details of their care visit.

Through user testing, we had identified that using human-friendly language was going to be key to quick comprehension. We realized that simplifying how all of the math was calculated — and not leaving them to guess or connect the dots — would greatly aid in that and begin to build trust between the member and their bill.

Included with the members statement, I designed a tactile information program insert, laying out the benefits of the program and how their bill would no longer be coming from their doctor. The call-to-cation was to visit a payer-branded landing page that doubled as the entry to the OODAPay portal.

Of course, for those who simply wanted to make a quick payment without having to login, I also designed a guest flow that mirrored the steps of primary payment flow, sans PHI, or personal health information.

A modern member experience.

It was tough specifying a primary user demographic when the people using OODAPay could literally be anybody — any age and any socioeconomic class. In order to support the widest reach, we chose to build this as a responsive web application, keying in on WCAG 2.0 accessibility compliance.

I also knew we needed to test our hypothesis and test them often. As our pilot programs rolled out, I would run a multitude of quantitative tests on product interaction patterns as well as statement language and math tables.

This led to a handful of new product features, including a password-less authorization flow, 0% interest payment plans, SMS-to-Pay, and inclusion of an HSA/FSA balance if they had one.

Our pilot partners at Blue Shield of California and BCBS of Arizona were beyond thrilled. Early NPS® benchmarks showed patient satisfaction with OODAPay was a staggering 93% positive —  compared to an average of ~40% for health plans (in general).

I'm extremely proud of the work and the progress the team has made for this desperately needed system change. I will watch with great anticipation as OODA continues their journey for real-time payments.

We will all be winners when they succeed.