…you’ve got to be careful just getting a patient’s credit card and adding to it every time they have a bill.  In a recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the finance website NerdWallet, they found a number of surprising statistics.  The most interesting thing to us is some people don’t know how much credit card debt they have, some are afraid to admit it and most feel there is a stigma around credit card debt.  This situation is obviously a boon to the credit card industry, but can be dangerous for the new trend in healthcare where providers are directed to get a credit card from a patient and then keep it on file and use it whenever necessary.  The driver for this direction is to improve patient receivables.  Obviously, this approach will work.  Providers will get their money, but where does it leave the patient?

download (2)My guess is it causes more people to be surprised by credit card bills, more embarrassed by credit card debt and even less likely to talk to anyone about it. The credit card situation is not the fault of the physician, hospital or surgery center, but they can be part of the solution.

Unless you’re new to this space, you know that patient responsibility in the form of deductibles, co-insurance and self-pay continue to rise.  So if a patient has a surgical procedure today it’s conceivable and likely they will have a credit card on file with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, labs and facility.  With the average credit card now hovering around 16% interest if a patient ends up with $5000 on their credit card(s) and if they pay $150/mo they won’t pay it off until 2020.  And that is assuming they don’t need any other care in the meantime.

We understand the medical providers are in a bad spot.  They have to provide service with no idea if they are going to be paid.  Getting a credit card seems like a logical progression, but forward thinking revenue cycle executives have taken a more patient AND revenue friendly approach. By providing financing options where their patients get a  manageable monthly payment, these providers are getting paid upfront, in full and with no fees without swiping a credit card.

About MyLoans™

By providing patients with fast access to medical loans at a fair and unchanging interest rate, the MyLoans™ software by Epic River enables financial institutions to ease the financial stress of health care through collaboration with medical providers. Not only can medical providers offer patient financing for medical care needs, but doctors and hospitals alike can finally get immediate funding of their patient’s outstanding balances. Additionally, financial institutions gain new customers and interest income with little administrative overhead in exchange for servicing the loan. For more information, visit www.myloans.co.

About Epic River, LLC

Since its inception in 2005, Epic River has been providing high quality software services aimed at solving process-intensive problems. With a focus on high quality and rapid delivery, Epic River’s methodology accelerates the process of innovation while keeping a firm grasp on the business case behind the application, enabling our partners to grow their market leadership. The company’s unique approach to the agile methodology and user experience ensures both parties work closely together every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to expand into new technologies or markets, need a custom internal tool, assistance with architecture, or simply need someone you can trust to make technology decisions, Epic River is at your service. For more information, visit www.epicriver.com.