Patient financing can be a challenge to navigate for both patients and providers… a challenge that is exacerbated when major media outlets misrepresent what healthcare financing actually is.
In 2023, the standard narrative would have you believe that doom, gloom, and bad actors are the norm. Not only is this not the case, but this fallacy only makes it harder for all stakeholders to make informed decisions.
At AccessOne, we work to make healthcare affordable and accessible for everyone, and part of that commitment is making sure that our do no harm philosophy is communicated clearly.
We are a leading healthcare fintech company. We partner with healthcare providers to deliver consumer centric payment tools (including 0% interest patient financing plans) for the modern patient. We believe that patients must be treated with the utmost respect and responsibility, including and beyond clinical care. We firmly believe that the better the patient financial experience, the more equitable the outcome.
So, in this spirit of transparency and education, today we’re going to answer the 10 most common questions we receive from healthcare providers with respect to our patient financing solutions.
1. Why Is Patient Financing Necessary?
Patient financing is necessary because it grants access to critical healthcare services for individuals who may not be able to pay their medical bills all at once. Healthcare in the U.S. has become more costly for patients with high-deductible health plans shifting much of the cost burden to them. For example, even with good insurance, patients on HDHPs might still have to pay upwards of several thousand dollars to meet their deductible.
Even for financial well-off individuals, paying $3,000 or more for a healthcare bill is difficult to swallow when paying in full. For families that are not doing as well financially, that type of bill can be catastrophic to their economic well-being. To make matters worse, when it comes time to pay, whether it’s a co-pay, deductible, or other healthcare related payment, most patients simply pull out their credit cards.
Given that most healthcare debt can be attributed to an unexpected one-time or short-term medical expense, this fact makes sense. In other words, if a patient doesn’t have the cash flow to pay for medical care they didn’t anticipate, they tend to opt for their credit card.
The results have been disastrous.
From 2018-2020, according to the CFPB, Americans spent $23 billion on health care expenses using medical credit cards and paid $1 billion in deferred interest payments. A 2021 survey by Lending Tree found that medical debt (25% of which is credit card debt) is preventing consumers from achieving financial milestones:
- Nearly 20% of respondents said it’s preventing them from buying a home.
- 25% said they can’t pay off other debts.
- Almost 35% indicated that they cannot save for retirement.
Breaking down medical costs into manageable monthly payments that strip out the negative attributes of credit cards reduces financial stress and barriers to care, allowing patients to prioritize their physical and financial health.
For healthcare providers, it ensures consistent revenue flow and improved patient satisfaction, mitigating the issue of unpaid medical bills. For many hospitals and health systems, financial margins have become much tighter since the pandemic and potentially losing 15-20% of their overall revenue to patient bad debt is no longer a sound strategy.
2. How Does AccessOne’s Patient Financing Program Work?
We work with medical providers to provide patients 0% interest monthly repayment plans after insurance has adjudicated the claim and financial assistance has been applied to the balance. This is completely voluntary and the patient can opt in after learning more about how the program works..
Providers have a lot of flexibility in designing the AccessOne program to best suit the needs of the health system and their patients.
Whether they choose AccessOne Flex or AccessOne Choice, our do no harm approach treats patients with the same care and empathy you provide in the exam room. All patients are accepted into our program with 0% interest options available. Everyone receives the same terms no matter their credit score, and we do not credit report. We do not offer promotional periods or apply retroactive interest on our programs. Our do no harm approach provides flexible and sustainable payment options that patients can choose based on their family and financial situations.
3. Why Should Providers Partner on Financing Instead of Managing It In-House?
Managing patient financing in-house can be complex and costly.
By working with a patient financing partner like AccessOne, providers can design the best payment solution for their patients, allowing your staff to be more efficient when working with patients. Providers get immediate access to highly skilled staff, therefore reducing administrative time and expense, while also improving the quality of the patient experience.
4. Is AccessOne a Medical Credit Card?
No, AccessOne is not a medical credit card or non-recourse patient financing company. Full stop.
We provide patient financing solutions that help individuals manage their out-of-pocket healthcare costs with flexible payment terms. All patients receive the same terms—no matter their credit score. Our solution strips out all the negatives associated with medical credit cards or non-recourse providers.
5. Does AccessOne Report Patients to Credit Bureaus?
No, AccessOne does not report patients to credit bureaus.
Our aim is to make healthcare financing more accessible and manageable without impacting a patient’s credit score. We provide monthly payment plans for patients’ medical bills, without any of the pitfalls typically associated with non-recourse patient financing or medical credit cards.
6. Are AccessOne’s Terms Affected by a Patient’s Credit Score?
No, all patients receive the same terms with AccessOne, irrespective of their credit score.
AccessOne services are available to all patients. The goal is to ensure that every patient has the opportunity to access the healthcare that they need, regardless of their financial situation. The patient chooses the program they want to be in after hearing the terms and conditions of that program.
7. When Is a Financing Option Presented to a Patient?
AccessOne’s program typically enters the picture for patients after insurance and any available financial assistance from the health system have been applied to the balance. The goal is to help patients manage any remaining out-of-pocket expenses in a consistent monthly and manageable payment.
8. Does AccessOne Apply Retroactive Interest or Offer Promotional Periods?
No, AccessOne does not offer promotional periods or apply retroactive interest on its programs. This goes against our do no harm philosophy for patients. Our approach focuses on providing transparent, clear, and attainable payment plans for patients.
9. How Does AccessOne Ensure Patients Are Protected?
AccessOne adopts a “do no harm” approach by providing flexible and sustainable payment options that patients can choose based on their needs and financial situations. It aims to make healthcare affordable and accessible without causing financial distress.
10. What Makes AccessOne’s Patient Financing Solutions Different?
AccessOne stands out by prioritizing patient well-being and affordability.
It does not report to credit bureaus, does not vary terms based on credit scores, and applies its program after insurance and financial aid. It’s committed to lowering financial barriers to high-quality healthcare. It’s an option for the patient, and they choose the path they’d like to take. We make it easy for patients to manage their accounts whether online self-service or chat, or speaking to one of our Patient Advocates in our bi-coastal call centers.
Make Patient Financing Transparent and Easy
In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, ensuring patients have clear, equitable, and accessible financing options is crucial.
At AccessOne, we’re proud to be at the forefront of this endeavor, championing patient-centric solutions that not only break down financial barriers but also foster trust and understanding between providers and patients. As we’ve highlighted through our FAQs and resource recommendations, our commitment goes beyond just providing financing options; it’s about reshaping the narrative and establishing a new standard for patient financing.
We invite healthcare providers to join us on this journey, ensuring that affordable healthcare remains a right, not a privilege, for all. Want to learn more? Book a demo today.