As the healthcare industry pursues its own recovery from COVID-19 and various variants, among the most promising innovations are not treatments, but rather payments.
Elective surgeries and other cost-effective procedures have occurred during the pandemic. With a sluggish economy and unemployment still facing many Americans, grafting the success of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) into the medical industry holds promise.
As Experian’s Director of Health Products Management, Matt Baltzer noted, “If this is a clearly scheduled and elective visit to some extent, providers will request that all or part of it be prepaid. In this type of scenario, you have the option of driving for an upfront payment plan.
Payment plans are offered by some providers, but they are by no means ubiquitous or well understood by consumers. New PYMNTS Study The Payment Cure: How Improving Billing Experiences Impacts Patient Loyalty, A Care Credit collaboration, found that 33 percent of consumers had not sought medical treatment due to financial constraints or other reasons.
This study found that 70% of economically struggling consumers are interested in alternative payments, although 47% of all patients are unsure whether their provider offers payment plans or third-party financing. Of the 31% of patients who are aware of these options, more than half choose them.
Market watchers believe that figure could skyrocket if healthcare payment plans with affordable terms are made more available.
See: The Payment Cure: How Improving Billing Experiences Impact Patient Loyalty
Most patients want payment plans
The desire for greater flexibility in healthcare payments is driving changes in the industry, which for years has been plagued with challenges of payment, billing and collection after treatment.
In the PYMNTS Generation HealthTech: How Digital Tools Amplify Millennial Patient Loyalty study, a collaboration with Rectangle health, the researchers found that “most patients – 56% – are” very “or” extremely “interested in payment plans.
It is particularly interesting that this study found that 73% of millennials and younger cohorts are “very” or “extremely” interested in payment plans, but the researchers also found that “many health care consumers health care providers are not offered payment plans despite their interest in them. . Clear onboarding processes for new patients can help limit payment confusion and avoid missed payments.
While companies like CareCredit and Rectangle Health are at the forefront of payment plan offerings in the industry, pure BNPL brands could also enter the scene.
BNPL giant Affirm announced its Adaptive Checkout feature on Wednesday, September 22, giving merchants in its network greater ability to “provide personalized payment options based on transaction size as well as an on-time subscription decision. real”.
The concept could expand into the healthcare industry, as many see a huge opportunity for firms that integrate BNPL, and a major missed opportunity for those that don’t.
Related: Generation HealthTech: How digital tools amplify the loyalty of millennial patients
‘Treat now, pay later’ is a trend in the pandemic era
The problem of growing medical debt on the consumer side and the slowing down of medical procedures in the era of the pandemic that are hampering medical practices on the other are making everyone look for options.
LendingTree online loan market launched The data in the first trimester, showing that 60% of Americans had problems with medical bills. In a subsequent conversation with PYMNTS, Rectangle Chief Technology Officer Mike Peluso spoke of the growing need for “heal now, pay later” offers.
In a segment for PYMNTS TV, Peluso said: “Care is often too expensive, and it’s not too expensive because the provider is too expensive; the suppliers do not control the prices. It is too expensive because the patient can have a deductible of $ 2,000. The provider cannot control this, but they can control the ability to deliver the care and the options the patient has to pay over time.
See also: Care Now, Pay Later removes cash flow tradeoffs for patients and healthcare providers