(2 min read) Most healthcare providers report offering patient payment plans. The plans are popular; approximately half of consumers state a desire for financing options and have taken advantage of healthcare payment plans in the past. Hospitals and healthcare systems that provide these financing plans report increased revenue, decreased bad debt, lower operating costs, and higher patient satisfaction as a result of these plans.
ZOLL® Data Systems and its customer, ARxChange, conducted a study to explore the real impact of payment plans on patient payment behavior. The study analyzed 8,000 patient encounters in the same health system prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. These patients were offered digital bill pay and a new, configurable payment plan from a leading patient financing company.
The team evaluated whether configuring and targeting payment plans based on additional patient demographic data, insurance data, affordability, and plan terms would positively impact patient adoption and produce provider financial benefits. Based on the analysis, the team identified three patient segments:
- Segment 1 — this group was made up of patients who did not need the financial assistance offered by the plan, but took it if the net payment over time was the same (i.e., no financial penalty to pay over time)
- Segment 2 — this segment is made up of patients who are at risk of not paying without a payment plan but need more plan flexibility to increase adoption
- Segment 3 — these are largely patients who are traditionally underserved and disenfranchised; conventional plans are not built to meet this segment’s needs
With this same enhanced dataset, a predictive model was designed to tailor payment plans specific to the needs of each segment. Using this model, offers were optimized based on segment. The study found that when plan terms were tailored to the patients’ needs, the patients most in need of financial assistance more than doubled participation in the plans.
Overall, the study found that both providers and patients benefit from these more tailored payment plans. Provider annual revenue collected was forecast to increase and patient participation improved. This study clearly shows that payment plans are a best practice when the right data is used to classify patients and tailor the right payment plans for each group.
There is much more for you to learn about this study, including specifics about each segment and their behavioral changes based on being offered patient-centric payment plans. To find out more, watch the 10-minute webinar.