- For Patients
- by Sara McFarland
5 Reasons Your Doctor Offers Patient Financing Options
It’s easy to see how patient payment plans help patients get the care that they need, but have you ever wondered how patient financing programs benefit your doctor? With the advent of the Affordable Care Act and the rise in high-deductible health plans, patients are learning more about health care costs and acting more like consumers. With how quickly patients have evolved, doctors have to find a way to keep up with the demands of consumer-driven patients; hence the rise in popularity of patient payment plans.
Here are 5 reasons why your doctor’s office would want to offer you financing options:
- Doctors want to focus on treating you, not collecting your money
More patients have high-deductible plans, which means practices have to collect larger patient balances directly from patients. In the last 10 years, the amount of money that practices have had to collect from patients increased from 10-15 percent of their revenue to now, over 30 percent. (Source: Navicure via Physician’s Practice)
- You may have to pay more money to your doctor out of your own pocket
With deductibles increasing 67 percent from 2010 to 2015 (KFF), doctors know that most patients don’t have cash on hand to pay $400 bills. With payment plans, patients can lock in lower interest rates, pay smaller monthly payments and avoid going to collections. Without a payment plan, you may get stuck paying more out of your own pocket with no way to finance it.
- Doctors get paid right away, but patients can spread out payments over time
Patient financing options ensure that your doctor gets paid upfront, but you don’t get stuck paying for your bill all at once. The KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) reported that 43 percent of insured patients skipped or delayed physician-recommended treatments because of cost last year. Payment plans offer you and your doctor a win-win scenario because patients like you can get the care you need and your doctors don’t have to worry about getting paid.
- Even doctors’ patients with higher incomes are concerned about out-of-pocket costs
In a survey conducted by Parasail, of those who have had $1000 or more of out of pocket medical costs, we learned that 27% of respondents were from households with incomes between $50-$70k and had had the medical cost in the past three months. We also learned that despite their incomes, they were still concerned with costs and 28.7% said their biggest concern was how much of that procedure would be covered by their insurance. Doctors understand that when patients have financing options available, both parties are able to focus on what matters, the patient’s health.
- Payment plans help doctors give patients access to care they otherwise couldn’t afford
The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that less than 63 percent of non-elderly households with incomes above the federal poverty level have enough liquid assets to cover a mid-range annual deductible of $1,200 for an individual. Additionally, only 51 percent of households have enough liquid assets to cover a high-range annual deductible of $2500 for an individual. This means that without payment plans, patients simply don’t have the cash to pay their doctors in the event of an expensive procedure if they haven’t hit their deductible yet.
Your doctor didn’t get into medicine to worry about medical billing and payment plans though; that’s why Parasail exists. Your doctor’s #1 priority is your health, that’s why they take an oath, promising to do everything in their power to help their patients. So, if your doctor recommends a treatment but you’re worried about how you’ll pay for it, don’t be afraid to ask about patient financing options, like Parasail.