Patient Loan Programs Have Changed for the Better
Jan. 23, 2015 — At least one in six healthcare providers offer their community a patient loan program. And, with the continued increase in high deductible plans, more providers are implementing patient friendly loan programs. Usage is expected to surge by as much as 50% this year. However, the industry’s reputation still suffers from the poorly constructed loan programs that were used 10 to 15 years ago. Fortunately for all involved, patient loan programs have changed for the better. Service providers such as ClearBalance® have the stability, experience and vision to offer well-constructed loans that are a win-win for both patients and health systems.
Why are patient loans important? The number of patients with higher balance-after-insurance obligations continues to increase. Anyone who touches patient accounts knows that a patient’s financial experience can make a lasting impression about the overall service they received. And, those patients will tell their friends and family about that experience.
A properly implemented and managed patient loan program – the most effective is a zero interest revolving line of credit – appeals to patients and gives providers significant return on investment by reducing bad debt and increasing patient satisfaction.
Select a loan program vendor that’s transparent in terms of its operations and program performance. No nickel-and-diming through hidden fees – late charges, lost medical cards, etc. You want a partner with best practice methodologies for implementation, collections, reporting and performance optimization. A partner that anticipates and complies with regulatory agencies and requirements. A partner whose programs outperform expectations. A partner constantly looking for ways to add value. And above all, you want a partner that puts your patient’s needs first by treating them honestly and compassionately. Because the patient’s experience is a reflection on your organization. Importantly, select a partner that has experience and is willing to provide you with meaningful performance guarantees.
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Two things are certain: Patient balances will continue to grow and government scrutiny will intensify. Going forward, your best partner is one completely focused on patient satisfaction and compliance.