Patient Financing Plans And Your Medical Practice
You went into the medical profession because you want to help people. Treating patients is the most rewarding part of your practice and, for some physicians, so is participating in medical research, but even the most business-minded doctors find medical billing stressful. Your billing staff is diligent about negotiating payment with insurance companies, but at the end of the day, healthcare is unaffordable for everyone except wealthy Americans, and most patients cannot pay their bills in full upon receipt of the first billing statement, even if they have insurance. Keeping after patients about payment is stressful, and no one wants to be the bad guy that sent a patient’s account to collections, but sometimes it is the only way your practice can survive. Third-party patient financing plans can take away some of the stress of trying to collect payment, but do they expose patients to preventable financial risks? For help negotiating an agreement with a patient financing services company, contact a Washington DC small business lawyer.
Patient Financing Plans Can Streamline Your Billing Process
As a patient, you have probably encountered bill paying agreements through companies like AccessOne, CareCredit, and MediCredit. These companies are not new; hospitals have been using them for patient financing for years, and outpatient medical practices sometimes also use them to enable patients to pay low monthly installments for costly procedures. Some patient financing plans are interest-free, while others have interest rates lower than or comparable to a credit card. The healthcare provider and the financing services company share the proceeds of patient payments, and in general this means less stress and less money than when doctor’s offices have to keep pestering patients to pay as much as they can each month and eventually send patients’ accounts to collections. How much money the provider gets and how much interest, if any, the patients pay, depends on the terms of the agreement between the healthcare provider and the financing services company. The parties decide based on what will be profitable for them both while being affordable for the provider’s patient population.
Is BNPL for Medical Bills as Dangerous as It Sounds?
A report on the National Public Radio website has compared patient financing programs such as MediCredit to buy now pay later (BNPL) for medical bills. It bases this comparison on the fact that the lenders approve patients for these financing plans without a credit check. Just as BNPL for consumer goods is affordable until it isn’t, patients can run into the same problem with the likes of MediCredit; in other words, an unexpected financial hardship during the term of the loan (which can be several years) can leave patients vulnerable to the consequences of missed payments. In the context of patient financing plans, this means having the account revert to the hospital, which has the right to sell it to a collection agency if the patient remains unable to pay.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
A small business lawyer can help you set up a mutually beneficial arrangement with a patient financing services company to simplify your billing process. Contact Tobin O’Connor Concino P.C. for help.