Helping patients with another way to pay: Overcoming uncertainty surrounding patient payments

With $1 in $5 (19.7%) of Gross Domestic Product projected to be spent on healthcare in 2028,1 financial uncertainty and risk could rise, for both patients and healthcare providers.

Feeling the pressure of higher healthcare costs

As patient responsibility for healthcare costs increases—due in part to high deductible health plans (HDHPs) with deductibles of at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family becoming more common2—so does the financial risk of providing care. According to a report by InstaMed, 78% of providers struggle to collect a patient balance of $1,000 or more within 30 days.3

In addition to bearing the burden of soaring out-of-pocket healthcare costs, patients may not be aware of what their full share of a medical bill will be until after they receive care and then review the Explanation of Benefits or bill. While the No Surprises Act helps protect patients from receiving unexpected bills from out-of-network doctors and hospitals, patients may still be surprised about how much they owe due to a high deductible or coinsurance. In fact, an astonishing 91% of consumers surveyed were surprised by a medical bill in 2019.3

Beyond the financial impact

Unfortunately, the consequences of rising healthcare costs aren’t limited to the financial realm. Patients may delay vital care due to cost concerns, finally seeking medical attention only when their illness or condition is more advanced and requires complex interventions by already overburdened healthcare staff.

A May 2020 report by the Federal Reserve Board indicates that one in four of those surveyed had declined medical care in 2019 due to cost.4 Similarly, a West Health-Gallup Healthcare study projected that in 2020, 46 million adults had a health issue but did not seek treatment due to cost.5

A solution for meeting patient and provider needs

Is there a solution for helping patients and healthcare providers overcome uncertainty, improve outcomes, and move forward together? The answer may be a third-party financing partner.

Third-party patient financing offers a three-tiered approach to helping patients and providers:

  • With flexible financing, providers can offer patients the ability to manage both planned and unexpected out-of-pocket healthcare costs with monthly payments, allowing patients to get the care they need without
  • A reputable financing partner helps facilitate transparency between the patient and CareCredit, the healthcare credit card, provides training and resources to help healthcare staff communicate the patient’s financial responsibility at all points of care and across communication channels.
  • A financing partner can help enable providers to shift the burden of patient payment collection to a third party, helping improve financial outcomes. For example, with CareCredit, providers receive payment within two business days and avoid the additional workload, cost, and risk^ inherent in the collection.

 

To learn more about third-party patient financing, visit carecredit.com/beckers/.

CareCredit, the healthcare credit card, partners with over 250,000 provider and health-focused retailer locations to offer a patient payment solution and help improve the financial experience and outcomes for patients and providers.

1Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ”2019-2028 Projections of National Health Expenditures Data Released,” March 2020

2https://www.valuepenguin.com/high-deductible-health-plan-study

3InstaMed, Trends in Healthcare Payments Tenth Annual Report: 2019, published April 2020

4Federal Reserve Board, Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2019, May 2020

5West Health-Gallup Healthcare Study, Feb. 15-24, 2021

Subject to the representations and warranties in your agreement with CareCredit including but not limited to only charging for services that have been completed or that will be completed within 30 days of the initial charge, always obtaining the patient’s signature on in-office applications and the cardholder’s signature on the printed receipt.

This content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual business, financial, legal, tax and/or other advisors and/or medical providers with respect to any information presented. Synchrony and any of its affiliates, including CareCredit, (collectively, “Synchrony”) makes no representations or warranties regarding this content and accept no liability for any loss or harm arising from the use of the information provided. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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