12. 07. 22
Extended patient financing options are a great way to simplify patients’ access to care and help manage and cover the costs associated with the services they need. For many, healthcare is still seen as “nice to have” because it can be expensive to budget for. Financing options can help you improve the patient experience and get more people in the door who might otherwise not be able to pay for healthcare.
From stress reduction and easier budgeting to reduced staff demands, financing options can be among the best patient payment options for many practices that value top patient care.
Paying medical bills has never been a simple topic, but the landscape has changed in recent years. In 2020, annual premiums were up 4% from 2019 and 22% from 2015 for an average of $21,342 for family coverage3. That’s 12 percentage points higher than inflation, which has risen by 10% since 2015.
But those costs apply to people with coverage. COVID-19 led many Americans to lose their jobs, which meant losing their healthcare coverage. More than 40% of people said their spouse or partner had health coverage through a job lost or furloughed due to the pandemic2.
Many people forego necessary healthcare for fear of financial repercussions, whether due to unreliable insurance, equity gaps, or evolving job situations. In 2020, about a third of US families did not seek medical care in the year prior because of costs1. That includes more than visits of severe problems — even minor visits like checkups and vaccinations were put off. For many, an unexpected medical bill would be incredibly damaging to their finances, so healthcare loses priority.
Many people have carefully planned budgets for which a considerable expense creates hardship. Whether your patients are expecting your service or it comes as a surprise, financing options let them break up the costs over an extended period. One of the significant benefits of offering expanded patient payment options for healthcare services is that you can often help make the costs more manageable.
Patient financing can come in several forms but typically involves interest-free plans paid back over time. A third-party provider with 100% approval rates allows patients with poor credit to get the healthcare they need without undue financial burden. Some private healthcare lenders require strong credit and deny patients who need a loan, causing them to deal with health problems.
Another essential element of patient financing has a platform where patients can monitor their plans and make payments. This provides an easy-to-access, convenient way to manage it.
At Rectangle Health, we approached this need with our Care Now, Pay Later℠ (CNPL®) program. With this system, patients can enjoy flexible financing with high approval rates while providers get payment in full and don’t need to worry about chasing down patients who haven’t paid. It lets providers offer flexibility and access without taking on undue risk.
Having these kinds of plans in place can help lower the stress for those struggling with medical payments. It may help them seek treatment where it would otherwise be unaffordable and take a step toward prioritizing their health. It can also help them avoid worsening their condition by delaying treatment.
These payment options are great for patients but also for your practice, providing benefits like:
Patient payment plans can vary in a few different ways:
The right flexible payment option is essential, as some will still be barriers to payments and care. For example, working with a third party that requires a credit check and a loan can leave out people with low credit. Consider your practice’s unique characteristics and those of your patients.
If patient financing sounds like a good fit for your practice, setting it up is as simple as partnering with the right payment processor — one who can integrate it with your practice management systems and provide other valuable features.
To get the most benefit out of your bulk pay options for patients, it’s important to simplify them with convenient features. Card-on-file technology allows patients to save their information for manageable monthly payments and makes automatic recurring payments possible. For practices, these features limit follow-up calls from your staff. Another helpful feature is card account updating, which checks stored card information with the card issuer to confirm monthly validity.
Rectangle Health offers all of these options for a comprehensive payment solution to help your customers ease the economic effects of their healthcare.
At Rectangle Health, we know how important it is to meet your patient’s financial needs and what that means for your practice. That’s why we designed a comprehensive platform with many payment options, including contactless payments, online payments, and Care Now, Pay Later (CNPL). CNPL allows you to offer extended financing options directly to your patients by breaking up their payments over time, all from within an integrated payment platform.
To learn more about Rectangle Health and how we can help you meet the evolving needs of your patients, please reach out to a representative today!