As out-of-pocket health care costs continue to increase for consumers, more prefer payment plans to manage their medical bills, according to the “Changing Landscape of Health Care Payment Plans” report, produced by PYMNTS in collaboration with Flywire. Data on the report is based on a survey of 2,837 patients who checked into a hospital or emergency room in the previous year.
Key findings include:
57 percent of respondents would prefer a payment plan offered before service or at the time of service with their health care provider.
35.5 percent would prefer a payment plan offered at the time they receive their first bill.
Just 6.9 percent choose a phone call from their provider to ask for a plan.
There is a direct relationship between a patient’s increased out-of-pocket payments and the chance they will sign up for a payment plan:
38.9 percent of respondents used payment plans to manage out-of-pocket expenses ranging from $50 to $250.
When costs topped $1,000, 51.4 percent opted for payment plans.Payment plan fees influence how patients make decisions connected to payment plans, for example:
33.7 percent choose shorter terms to reduce fees.
17 percent pay balances in full to avoid fees.
25 percent say fees have no influence on their decision on how to pay.
“The study offers important insights for hospitals and health systems seeking to optimize their revenue cycle practices and payment plan strategy, as well as to improve payment behavior without jeopardizing the relationship between patient and provider,” John Talaga, executive vice president, Flywire, said in a news release on the study.More information: https://bit.ly/2CDJMpH