New payment option for patients: 8 things to know about healthcare installment loans
If you have worked in an ASC over the past several years, one trend that has been hard to miss is the shift of financial responsibility from payers to patients.
Depending upon the procedure, patients may now be expected to cover hundreds to thousands of dollars of costs. And those expenses show no signs of slowing down. A recent TransUnion Healthcare analysis noted that patients experienced an 11% increase in average out-of-pocket costs during 2017 alone, increasing from $1,630 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $1,813 for the same period in 2017.A 2017 Black Book survey found that since 2015, patients have experienced a nearly 30% increase in deductible and out-of-pocket maximum costs.
Collecting from patients used to be a relatively small concern for surgery centers when the bulk of payments came from payors. But now patient collections require a significant area of focus as a failure to collect in full could turn a once-profitable procedure into an unprofitable one that may even end up costing an ASC substantial money. With surgery centers already feeling pressures from tightening reimbursement and increasing expenses, few can afford to start losing money on cases.
These factors have served as significant motivators for ASCs to explore new patient financing options to offer that will help patients cover their costs and better ensure surgery centers are paid what they are contractually owed. One such option garnering significant consideration from and adoption by ASCs is the provision of a healthcare installment loan.
Here are eight things to know about this innovative offering.