Patients are more involved with the financial side of healthcare than ever before. With the rise of high deductible healthcare plans and increased out-of-pocket costs, patients are looking for support from their providers. 95% of patients reported that knowing out-of-pocket expenses upfront is important, yet only 59% reported discussing out-of-pocket expenses with their provider before treatment. Patients seek out providers that not only offer premium care, but also a transparent and simplified financial experience.
Despite the rise of electronic payments in most industries, 90% of healthcare organizations are still using paper statements and manual processes to collect from patients. This outdated approach not only slows down collections, but also causes patients confusion about what they owe and how they'll afford it. As providers continue to try to collect from patients that are unable to pay, the patient becomes frustrated, the provider loses money and time, and the relationship is negatively impacted.
Fortunately, patient financing offers a remedy to increase cash flow for providers while improving the patient experience.
The Patient-Provider Relationship
The relationship between patients and providers is dynamic. Most patients will interact with the scheduling staff, the doctor, and the billing department of the practice for one visit, yet payment responsibility is typically not discussed until the patient receives a bill. By the time the bill comes in the mail, the patient has already disengaged from the experience and is less likely to pay.
In order for healthcare providers to successfully collect from patients and maintain a positive relationship, they need to understand the patient journey and meet patients where they are. By discussing costs of care and patient responsibility prior to service, expectations are set, and the patient can focus on their health during the visit, not their finances.
Convenience & Affordability
When patients are presented with the opportunity to pay smaller amounts over time, they are more likely to pay. In order to make the payment process as simple as possible, practices need to make the payment portal accessible and easy to use. Patients expect a payment experience similar to that of retail–contactless checkout, card-on-file technology, and mobile payment. By offering multiple payment methods on a platform that is easily accessible, patients will face fewer barriers when submitting payments, which means, the speed of cash to providers will increase.
Open to Everyone
Most recourse models require complex loan applications, an adequate credit score, and impose additional risks for both the patient and provider if the patient defaults. Roughly 40% of Americans that apply for credit or loans from top healthcare lenders are denied, leaving patients unable to receive care due to costs.
Healthcare financing offers an inclusive and flexible payment option for patients that struggle to afford out-of-pocket costs associated with healthcare. Providers can eliminate skepticism and enroll more patients by offering interest-free, personalized payment plans with no hidden fees and no impact on credit scores. Patients are able to select a plan that best fits their situation and budget, improving access to care and reducing barriers to health equity. By implementing a non-recourse program, patients feel supported, and providers are able to unload the burden of collecting to a trusted partner.
As the cost of care continues to rise and the healthcare market grows increasingly saturated with hospitals and health providers, organizations looking to stand out not only have to have top quality care, but also patient-centered billing processes that foster a positive patient financial experience. It is mutually advantageous that patients have a provider they can depend on, and that providers have a solid patient base. Partnering with a third-party financing program such as BridgeMed allows providers to digitize patient collections, improve patient satisfaction, increase patient engagement, and improve patient loyalty and retention. To learn more about the benefits of BridgeMed, contact us at email@example.com, or visit our website, www.mybridgemed.com