3 Strategies for Tackling Healthcare Payment Plan Challenges

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When it comes to healthcare payment plans, consumer priorities have changed. Provider loyalty is no longer a driving force for many. Instead, consumers prefer financial transparency, flexible payment plans, and affordable monthly payments.

In fact, our recent survey shows this. Two in five consumers would switch providers to access more affordable payment options. In an age where Americans pay 3.4 trillion dollars in healthcare each year, flexible payment plans, unhampered by credit scores or unaffordable interest rates, are crucial.

However, administering any type of payment plan internally presents significant challenges for healthcare organizations. Keeping track of payment terms, altering these terms when a patient’s financial circumstance changes, and working with new patients to set up payment plans is tough on resources when many health systems are short-staffed. During a time where healthcare employees cite an overload of bureaucratic tasks as a major cause of burnout, the current situation is unsustainable.

Staff needs to be able to focus on other priorities. This presents an impossible conundrum. Hospitals can’t maintain such a monumental bureaucratic load, and patients can’t afford to pay their hospital bills in one fell swoop.

Healthcare costs are rising 12% across all care settings. To retain business, hospitals must offer affordable payment options—whether on their own or in conjunction with a patient financing partner.

3 Ways to Develop A Patient Financing Strategy

How can hospitals limit administrative stress while developing the right patient financing strategy? Here are three tips.

Provide self-service options for account management and payment. Patients can manage their own accounts, for the most part. Offer them the opportunity to self-enroll in payment plans at any point in the patient journey. They can then make payments to this account online. This will significantly lower the administrative load while placing power in patients’ hands.

Consider leading organizations like Atrium Health, with a laser focus on patient priorities. Within their system, patients are empowered to change the terms of their agreements. For instance, they can transition from a zero-interest plan to a low-interest plan with lower monthly payments. This approach helps patients when their zero-interest monthly payment amount becomes difficult to handle. By adopting this tactic, Atrium patients can control their own financial experience—which produces a lifelong positive impression. In addition, hospital staff don’t have to accept, record, and manage payments.

Consider a patient financing partner.

Atrium Health originally managed payment plans internally.  This was only available to patients who needed financing plans of six months or less. However, Atrium Health was soon faced with administrative challenges.

Managing and tracking payments, while integrating new accounts was time-consuming. That’s why Atrium Health chose to partner with AccessOne to manage a range of long-term patient financing options available to all patients.

Now, patients are actively engaged with their own financial plans. They’re more satisfied with their care experience and have reduced financial stress. Atrium Health has benefited, too. Their collection rate has increased, which means they’re doing better than ever before.

A More Modern, Less Stressful Approach

Administrative costs comprise 25% of healthcare spending. One way to reduce these costs is to combine all hospital and physician accounts into a single payment plan. This technique lessens the time and money spent on payment plan processing—while improving patient financial satisfaction.

Seeking out more ways to provide flexible payment options is crucial. By exploring options such as self-service, partnerships, and flexible plans, hospitals can eliminate administrative headaches. These organizations also become better positioned to meet patients’ needs.

With 24/7 support, AI-driven technology, and non-discriminatory payment plans, AccessOne’s full-service model helps both patients and healthcare providers. With increased collection rates and improved patient experiences, your team is free to focus on top-notch care.

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