Amounts owed for hospital and medical bills from patients may be easier to collect if healthcare facilities provide electronic payment options for debtors. As many doctors and other professionals can spend a large amount of time recovering past due accounts, the new payment method can facilitate and streamline processes for the industry, leading to a higher debt collection rate for companies. The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that a recent statement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that with the new federal electronic payment rules, which recently took effect, healthcare providers and insurance companies can save significant amounts of money, resulting in a total savings of $9 billion for the entire industry. Physicians and health facilities have until January 1, 2013 to implement electronic payment systems for patients. Not only will it save time for professionals, but HHS also says it will speed up the payment process, leading to easier collections. American consumers are increasingly going online to pay bills, according to research by ICD Financial Insights. More than 73 percent of individuals have used an electronic method to pay bills, and experts anticipate the number will rise in the next few years.