Why Automated Payment Plans?

In a recent experiment, Patientco’s Data Team confirmed that offering flexible, payment plans is the first step to accelerate patient payments without impacting pay-in-full (PIF) rates (read our free white paper here). But what’s the next step? How can your organization maximize payment plan enrollment while minimizing drop-outs?

The answer is elegantly simple: automation.

Automated payment plans make good business sense:

  • They enable providers to capture significantly more patient payments.
  • Automated payment plans help ensure future patient revenue and reduce administrative burden.
  • They provide a secure, convenient way for patients to pay without the hassle of mailing a check or logging in to an online account every month.

A Scenario:

Suppose a patient, Jessica, schedules knee surgery after tearing her ACL in a basketball game. She ends up with a $1,200 out-of-pocket bill, but she can’t afford to PIF at the time of service. Studies show that most Americans can’t afford a surprise $400 bill. If Jessica’s provider offers a payment plan option, she’s more likely to make an initial payment. Furthermore, she’s more likely to commit to paying off her balance over time.

If Jessica’s provider offers an automated payment plan, she can have monthly installments that fit her budget automatically drafted from her bank account. Additionally, both she and the provider will be spared the headache of sending her monthly reminders.

Supporting Data:

Consider a few key findings from our data team:

  • When health systems offer flexible payment plans, they are able to capture more net patient revenue and establish more commitments to pay. Since we now know that PIF rates are not impacted by payment plans, that means that for almost every patient who signs up, providers are capturing net new patient dollars.
  • Our data shows that +90% of patients who make a commitment to pay ultimately end up paying off their balances. Automation helps to improve these odds and simplify the payment process for everyone.

Patient responsibility payments now represent as much as 35% of provider revenue. For this reason, health systems must rethink their approach to improving patient payments rates. It benefits everyoneproviders, staff, and patients aliketo make it as easy as possible for patients to pay. In the new healthcare landscape, the real question is not whether your organization should offer automated payment plans: it’s whether you can afford not to.

Read “Using Payment Plans to Accelerate Patient Revenue to find out more ways your health system can enhance the patient financial experience and increase patient revenue.