No matter how carefully someone plans their spending, surprise medical bills can wreak havoc on a budget. According to Healthcare Drive, worry about an unexpected medical bill tops the list of what keeps Americans up at night.
Unfortunately, the prospect of unexpected medical costs can cause patients to put off getting necessary emergency care or avoid seeing a doctor in the first place. As a healthcare provider, this situation can be discouraging when you want to provide needed patient care while growing your clinic’s revenue.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to patient financing services and discuss various options medical professionals can use to provide these solutions to insured and uninsured patients.
What Is Patient Financing?
Traditionally, patients who had to finance medical care did so via a credit card with high interest rates. An alternative is to employ patient financing. This structure removes a high-interest credit card from the equation and allows healthcare providers to serve as a lender.
One major concern, however, for medical offices is that they could be left with massive unpaid balances after delivering care. Now, instead of being a healthcare provider, you also become a financing company and a collection agency.
Fortunately, solutions like Weave’s Buy Now, Pay-over-time allow for patient financing while your office gets paid upfront and in full. This scenario is a win-win for both you and your patients. They can get the medical care they need, and your office receives immediate revenue.
What is Healthcare Lending? – How Is It Related to Patient Financing?
Healthcare lending is different from patient financing, but it is closely related. Healthcare lending gives a medical center or clinic a loan to help finance their operations or growth. It can be used in health care to provide financing options to patients.
For example, a healthcare business loan can be used to upgrade equipment to help automate processes (and, therefore, reduce expenses), or it can be used as a cash reserve to ensure enough cash flow on hand to offer flexible payment plan options to patients.
What is the Patient Assistance Program?
Also known as PAPs, patient assistance programs are designed for patients that don’t have health insurance or have limited health insurance coverage, which makes it difficult to afford medical care, hospital services, and other care.
These financial assistance programs may be sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, non-profits, and state-funded programs to provide charity care for those in need. The benefits provided by this program are prescription-related and usually don’t include prescriptions. Further, despite the numerous benefits, the murky black box of eligibility criteria in the financial assistance application process makes them difficult to qualify for.
What Are Patient Financing Companies?
As the term suggests, patient financing companies provide financing options for people who need medical services but can’t afford to pay upfront, out-of-pocket. These companies often relax creditworthiness requirements, and they can help secure patient financing for procedures not covered by an insurance company.
Depending on the company, a patient may secure a loan from their medical provider or a third-party company. Often there is a low or 0% promotional APR, which can increase affordability.
and serve more patients?
Flexible payment options allows you to serve more patients
With Buy Now, Pay Later comes less payment worries for your practice and your patients.Schedule Demo
Hiring Info for Patient Financial Services Roles
Given the rising costs of healthcare, jobs in the patient financial service industry are plentiful. The role involves handling billing, collections, and serving as a financial counselor while enforcing patient rights. It could also include customer service and ensuring patient satisfaction.
In many cases, a college degree is not required, and training is provided.
What is Patient Financial Services Salary?
The salary for someone in the patient financial service industry varies based on skills and experience. There is also significant variation based on where in the country an applicant is located. On average, the salary is $36,259 annually, with more experienced personnel earning at least $47,000.
What Does a Patient Financial Services Job Description Look Like?
Depending on the organization where you work, a role in patient financial services often falls under the umbrella of billing and account collections. The position is integral in promoting community health because it helps make financing solutions available to those in need.
A brief overview of the job responsibilities could include:
- Collecting patient payments
- Reviewing and adhering to the company’s financial assistance policy
- Maintaining medical records
- Performing revenue projections
- Consulting with patients and clinics regarding the best payment option
Weave and Sunbit have recently partnered to help medical offices provide flexible and convenient payment options for their patients. To learn more, schedule a demo.