PayZen uses fintech to make healthcare more affordable for patients — and accelerate cash for providers

Healthcare's affordability crisis is staggering — one in four patients put off care due to cost, and one in three working Americans have medical debt. Patients widely identify affordability as the single biggest problem with healthcare. Simultaneously, health systems are confronted with challenges related to patient affordability, care access and their own economic well-being.

During a PayZen-sponsored roundtable at Becker's Hospital Review's 12th Annual Meeting, four healthcare finance experts discussed innovative, technology-based solutions to patient affordability challenges:

  • Itzik Cohen, CEO, PayZen
  • Lawrence Leisure, co-founder and managing partner, Chicago Pacific Founders
  • Prashant Karamchandani, director, revenue cycle practice, The Chartis Group
  • John Talaga, EVP, healthcare, Flywire

Three key insights: 

1. Fintech solutions such as PayZen improve healthcare access and reduce patient stress. Healthcare transactions are complex and conversations about affordability need to start before care occurs, as well as at multiple points throughout the care journey. "Healthcare isn't like e-commerce, where you put something in a basket, check out and pay," Mr. Cohen said. "We offer tools that help providers talk about affordability and modernize the process of offering, enrolling in, and servicing patient financing.

PayZen creates individualized patient payment options that maximize the likelihood of repayment success. When people are presented with the right offer, they are willing to pay rather than go into bad debt, Mr. Cohen said, adding that PayZen's offer/accept rate is around 80 percent. 

"We say yes to everyone who wants to pay their bill," Mr. Cohen said. "We underwrite patients based on data and we never charge interest. We also never sue patients, sell debt or engage in aggressive collections." PayZen's Net Promoter Scores are consistently above 60, according to Mr. Cohen, who added that patients are impressed with the solution's affordability and ease of use.

2. PayZen accelerates capital to providers on a nonrecourse basis. Once PayZen buys patient accounts receivable from providers, those assets no longer appear on the providers' balance sheets. "We pay providers as quickly as the day after enrollment," Mr. Cohen said. He also said health systems that use PayZen consistently see collections increase 30 percent or more. Solutions like PayZen are increasingly important, since the number of self-pay patients is growing. "The fastest-growing segment of payers is the self-pay population. Providers have to treat that group as its own entity. Putting the patient at the center of the experience is critical," Mr. Karamchandani said.

3. Flywire integrated PayZen into its platform to support more flexible payment plans. Large health systems use Flywire for patient billing, engagement and payments. "Many of our clients were only willing to fund payment terms of 24 to 36 months from their reserves," Mr. Talaga said. "When you look at the average out-of-pocket ability to pay, however, that's just not enough. We wanted an integrated financing model that would retain the patient experience but not send people to a third party. PayZen's no-interest, everyone-qualifies, no-recourse model was what we were looking for." To date, the response has been positive, according to Mr. Talaga. 

For many Americans, healthcare is increasingly out of reach — especially for those in lower socioeconomic strata. "This is a serious problem," Mr. Leisure said. "We need to find ways to make care accessible and affordable. PayZen plays an important role in the process and it treats patients with outstanding balances humanely."

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