Patient Payment Plans: An Overview for Providers

The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other developed nation. And yet, Americans continue to have limited access to efficient and affordable care. 

Out-of-pocket health spending is at its highest since 1985, leading patients—insured and uninsured alike—to take on debt and suffer financial hardship to pay for medical care. Flexible patient payment solutions are more important than ever: patients need to know that they can comfortably pay for medical care when they need it most, and healthcare providers need to improve their revenue cycle management. 

Outsourcing your patient repayment plans with AccessOne meets both of these needs. 

What Is a Patient Payment Plan?

A patient payment plan is any repayment option that allows a patient to pay for their medical service over time instead of in a lump sum.

These payment arrangements can be structured according to a patient’s individual situation. Patient payment plans may feature a low-interest rate or none at all, depending on the terms an organization wants to extend.

The concept isn’t new, but we’ve come a long way from the paper-based/manual processes of traditional payment plans. Now, the rise of self-service healthcare payments has made it both more efficient for providers to extend payment options, and more convenient for patients to make a payment. 

Why Do Flexible Patient Payments Matter?

Healthcare affordability is becoming a struggle for everyone, not just low-income individuals. Patient payment plans allow patients to get the vital care they need and deserve, and help healthcare organizations increase patient collections and decrease bad debt

For Healthcare Providers 

The success of healthcare providers is directly connected to the ability of their patients to pay. Outsourcing flexible patient payments can substantially improve the financial health of providers by: 

  1. Lowering rates of returned patient accounts (often 10% lower than the industry average). 
  2. Increasing collection rates to nearly 90% (i.e., improved cash flow).

Additional benefits of outsourcing patient payment plans include less time mailing paper bills, a less strenuous collections process, less call center traffic, and more time to focus on patient care and enhancing the patient experience. After all, patient satisfaction should be a top priority for all providers.

For Patients

Patients want a better overall experience with their healthcare providers, and they want options for paying their bills.  Nearly half of patients with children are willing to leave their provider if they can have access to flexible payment plans.  

Flexible payment plans mean patients will be less hesitant to get the vital healthcare they need, as they no longer have to choose between prioritizing their health and maintaining financial security. 

If patients have options to pay for the healthcare they need, it’s easier for providers to cultivate loyalty and trust. Ultimately, increased patient satisfaction and engagement are tied to better patient health outcomes

Patient Repayment Plans With AccessOne

At AccessOne, we believe everyone deserves affordable healthcare.

As a third-party patient financing company, we offer two different patient payments solutions. Both options include patient-provider billing and financing communication, which allows your team members to focus on care.

Choice Patient Financing Platform

AccessOne’s Choice platform is one of the most flexible patient financing solutions in the healthcare industry. Choice is comprised of three payment options that providers can extend to all patients within one solution: 

  • Choice: for balances less than $12,000 with 0% or low-interest options available. 
  • Choice Plus: for balances over $12,000, the option of 0% interest or a very low fixed interest rate is useful for patients with catastrophic bills. 
  • Choice Outreach: for any balance, designed for patients with partial financial assistance. 

With Choice, providers are experiencing average recourse rates of +/-5% because of a proprietary predictable funding system.  

Flex Patient Financing Platform

AccessOne’s Flex platform option is also designed for every single patient, regardless of their current financial standing, but additionally features full funding to the provider.

With no interest, patients can get access to the care they need, right away. There is no credit reporting with Flex, which means patients don’t need to be concerned about a negative impact on their credit or a credit score check.

With Flex, providers can design a plan that meets their needs by adjusting terms and parameters for each individual situation. 

When Trinity Health rolled out a 12-month/0% interest patient payment plan, they helped over 37,000 households manage their out-of-pocket medical expenses. The average term length and average patient balance significantly improved over the first few years of their partnership with AccessOne. 

3 Best Practices for Patient Payment Plans

Once the particulars of the terms of your payment plans are established, it’s time to develop an implementation strategy. Pay attention to these three best practices for patient payment plans to help your patients realize the most value out of your payment options. 

1. Enable Self-Service 

Offering patient payment plans optimizes operational efficiencies within the payment process. 

Allow your patients to initiate payment when and where it works for them. The less involved your staff has to be, the greater the cost savings, and the more likely patients are to pay. One case study showed a 27% growth in patient payment revenue when mobile payment options were introduced. 

2. Focus On Inclusivity 

Focusing on patient inclusivity means ensuring patient payment plans are available for every patient, regardless of their financial circumstances, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Be certain that the patient financing solutions you are considering accepts all patients, and does not have caps on the balance the patient is able to finance. At the end of the day, the more flexible and personalized your patient payments solutions, the more people you can serve.

3. Leverage Technology 

Patients want a digital experience, and they have high expectations—52% of patients state that a bad digital experience ruins their relationship with a healthcare provider.

Patients want healthcare providers to contact them at the right time and in the right context, with speed, relevancy, and consistency in each communication. A modern digital platform is critical to effectively communicating with patients regarding their payments and balances.

Offer Flexible Patient Payments With AccessOne  

Providing a range of payment solutions will not only boost revenue, but will also have a positive impact on patient satisfaction.

It’s good for patients, and it’s good for you. Talk about a competitive advantage! 

If you want to incorporate patient payment plans with options that meet the needs of every single patient you serve, schedule a demo with AccessOne today. 

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