SAN DIEGO – Jan. 26, 2020 – Faced with continued, mounting AR and fewer staff to manage patient balances, revenue cycle leaders are rethinking their strategy for patient financial management. According to a HFMA Pulse survey, the top two priorities for patient engagement are offering more payment alternatives (52.6%) and providing more self-service options (52.2%).
“To achieve the appropriate balance of patient experience and securing payments, offering payment installment options is a good approach,” says one revenue cycle executive who participated in the survey. “It’s important to keep patients paying something, even if it’s a small amount.”
Our industry will continue to face pandemic-induced obstacles this year, according to Bruce Haupt, ClearBalance HealthCare® president and CEO. “The financial burden of the pandemic highlights the ongoing need for providers to simplify and streamline the patient financial experience,” he says. “ClearBalance zero-interest patient financing is a critical solution to ensure patients have a payment plan they can afford, which is important now more than ever.”
Aligning with this trend, more health systems that are intent on revenue recovery and improving the patient financial experience are turning to patient financing from ClearBalance HealthCare. Last year multiple healthcare providers across the country, including from California, Nevada, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, began offering the ClearBalance program.
As an industry, healthcare normally is recession-proof, however during this global pandemic, revenue streams and margins are being decimated. “More healthcare organizations recognize they don’t have the financial resources and staff to underwrite and manage patient financing,” Haupt says. “Once they got past the initial disruption to their organization in the early days of the pandemic, revenue cycle leaders came to us to help them focus on tactics to boost cash flow and bring patients back in the door. We are already seeing more of the same this year.”
Incorporating the ClearBalance program into their overall financial policy has contributed to improved performance metrics for ClearBalance customers. Top Performers including CentraCare Health, Kettering Health Network and Novant Health continue to see decreases in AR days and bad debt, better cash flow and greater discipline in structuring patient payment plans.
Already in 2021, ClearBalance is working with additional healthcare providers to offload patient payment services, increase collections and give an immediate boost to cashflow. Providers have been most interested in leveraging ClearBalance to transfer existing payment plans they have on their books, establish a financing program for payment plans, and offer patients self-service digital convenience for online loan enrollment and account management.
“Revenue cycle leaders are relieved to hear that our open system account service platform is plug-and-play with their tools for estimation, eligibility, patient accounting and payment platforms,” Haupt says. “Getting up-and-running with our patient financing program isn’t a complex IT project. It happens very quickly.”
About ClearBalance HealthCare
For 29 years ClearBalance HealthCare has partnered with health systems nationwide to provide consumer-centric affordable care while substantially improving revenue recovery of patient pay. ClearBalance is the #1 customer-rated patient financing vendor according to Black Book Market Research and received the highest overall performance score for patient financing solutions according to KLAS Research. Patients consistently give ClearBalance loyalty and referral ratings of 90 percent and 88 percent, respectively. www.ClearBalance.org.