Patient Payment Plans: Top Myths Debunked

For most Americans, money is tight right now.

With deductibles soaring, patients bear the brunt of their healthcare costs and with inflation not going away that means patients have additional worries about their ability to pay for healthcare. Medical expenses directly cause over 66% of bankruptcies, making it the leading cause for declaring bankruptcy.

Putting patients in the difficult spot to choose what care, if any at all, to pursue, is an unfortunate, and unfair, place to be. 

At AccessOne, we firmly believe that giving patients flexibility in paying for their care enables them to access vital healthcare services while also making it affordable for them.  Scratch that—we know it.

By offering healthcare payment plans, you empower patients to choose a payment strategy that aligns with their personal finances. Patients gain financial confidence, as they know exactly what to expect when it comes to healthcare bills.

And as a provider, this means collecting patient payments gets easier (in the best sense).

With clear benefits for all parties involved, why are so many healthcare providers still hesitant to adopt patient payment plans? 

Unfortunately, there is still much discussion over whether patient financing benefits patients or not. Here are five myths that could be standing in the way of implementing patient payment plans. 

Myth 1: Payment Plans Negatively Impact Revenue

Some believe that payment plans are just a fancy way of saying that you receive only a fraction of what you’re owed.

Actually, it’s the exact opposite

Research shows time and again that payment plans (across industries) have a positive impact on revenue. And that’s just one of the benefits—offering flexible financing often leads to:

  • Higher patient satisfaction and retention.
  • Reduction in bad debt.
  • More efficient revenue cycle management.

Patients need options—what works for one, won’t necessarily work for another. Without those options, the probability of incurring in bad debt increases. 

Think of offering patient payment plans as a proactive strategy to reduce bad debt, and debt altogether. Patients commit to pay for what they can afford, reducing the number of accounts that go to collections.

The bottom line? Payment plans can boost, well, bottom line.

Myth 2: Payment Plans Are Administratively Burdensome

Healthcare staff is in short supply. Revenue cycle teams are overwhelmed. Paperwork is piling up.

Won’t offering patient payment plans add unnecessary stress to healthcare providers? 

A resounding no! Effective patient payment solutions can in fact dramatically reduce administrative burden

By partnering with a  healthcare payment plan provider like AccessOne, providers can streamline the whole payments process. As a result, patients are thankful, and providers can free up resources that are otherwise wasted. AccessOne takes on all servicing of the account from sending statements to answering questions and there are no applications for staff to fill out. They simply introduce AccessOne and we take care of the rest.

AccessOne even allows patients to self-enroll for a payment plan, which gives them more freedom and providers less administrative work.  

Myth 3: The Patient Payment Experience is Good Enough 

Providers must recognize the demands for a seamless and convenient patient payment experience.

For one, patients deserve healthcare that they can afford and manage themselves. In a survey, nearly 43% of respondents said that a bill of $249 is the maximum they could confidently manage. Providers must turn this statistic around.

But also, when it comes to numbers, patients are responsible for nearly 35% of overall provider revenue.

What does this mean? Patients’ financial concerns must be addressed—they simply can’t be a barrier to access healthcare. 

Offering flexible patient payments is an empathetic response to a grim reality. It’s a way to demonstrate your commitment to ensuring patients can access and afford necessary care. 

Samaritan Health Services, for instance, needed financing options for their patients, to match their compassionate healthcare solutions. AccessOne’s patient payments solutions  are exactly what they were looking for. Patients are now 100% more actively engaged in managing payments and patients are paying their bills much more quickly. In 2012, it took an average of 33 months to clear the balance. After offering flexible payment options, patients paid off their balances in 9 months. 

Myth 4: Payment Plans Require Significant Upfront Investment

Wrong again! Offering payment plans results in dramatic cost savings and immediate cash flow for healthcare organizations. 

Providers who implement patient payment plans see revenue growth, and bad debt reduction.

The benefits of an increased patient satisfaction and streamlined payment collections certainly outweigh any upfront costs. Up to 97% percent of patients pay their bills in full when they start on an interest free plan with the flexibility to lower their monthly payment..

As a full-service financing partner, AccessOne not only offers flexible financing, but also takes on all patient billing and communications. Your organization will quickly save costs in patient billing and communication, all while streamlining the collections process.

Myth 5: Payment Plans Are Not Effective for Patients with High-Deductibles

Individual deductibles for patients are currently over $7,000, which is quite a hefty sum compared to the $250 maximum many Americans can currently handle. 

If patients can spread these out-of-pocket costs over time, their healthcare costs become more predictable and manageable. And this is an essential element: 47% of patients would switch providers to access affordable, long-term payment plan options.

Patient payment plans can be designed with 0% or choose a low-interest option to lower their monthly payment, which meets  the needs of patients no matter their credit history or financial situation. 

Payment plans are a reliable way for patients to take control of their healthcare in a way that makes care accessible and affordable to them, regardless of their insurance coverage.  

The Truth? Patient Payment Plans Drive Revenue

If you’re still hesitant to implement patient payment plans, you can see the benefits for yourself with a demo of AccessOne. Offering patient payment plans could have a dramatic impact on your organization’s revenue

Your patients need it, and you can only stand to win. 

Book a demo today to discover all the benefits of adopting fair patient payments solutions.

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