Hospitals have an easier time submitting bills through electronic data interchange systems than using EDI to receive payments from patients.

Researchers at Celent L.L.C., Boston, have published figures supporting that conclusion based on a summary of a survey of 220 hospital financial executives.

The Celent researchers conducted the survey in connection with an analysis of the future of hospitals’ need for cash management services.

Survey participants expect all payers’ use of checks to drop to 40% of total payments, from 54% today, within 2 years, the Celent researchers report.

The share of payments coming straight from patients could increase to 21% over that period, from 16% today, participants told the researchers.

About 96% of the survey participants said their hospitals can send claims through EDI systems, but only 71% can receive an “e-remittance” for direct posting to their patient management systems, the researchers report.