"Reverting to a 2019 world is not going to happen, which means that restructuring is the only option…where we are is not sustainable, and waiting for a reversion is a rapidly decaying option." - Eric Jordahl, Managing Director at Kaufman Hall.
In the ever-changing reality for healthcare, providers must adapt to make sure they meet the evolving needs of patients AND financially keep the doors open. One area that is ripe for removal is the offering of internal payment plans. While it may seem like a convenient and patient-friendly solution, the truth is that it's time to break free from this outdated approach. Internal payment plans are not only a colossal waste of time, talent, and money, but they're also impractical in the face of a shifting healthcare landscape.
- Administrative Gridlock: Managing internal payment plans requires a substantial allocation of administrative resources. From devising payment schedules to monitoring transactions and handling delinquencies, valuable time and talent are squandered on these repetitive tasks. This drain on resources detracts from the primary focus of providing exceptional patient care and hampers opportunities for innovation and improvement.
- Financial Fragility: Internal payment plans expose healthcare providers to unnecessary financial risks. Stretching out receipt of patient payments can wreak havoc on revenue streams. The resources spent on chasing down patients for timely payment and payment plan software could be better invested in cutting-edge medical technologies, staff training, and elevating the overall patient experience.
- Embracing Change and Sustainability: Eric Jordahl's quote resonates with the pressing need for restructuring in the healthcare industry. Rather than clinging to outdated payment approaches, providers must embrace a “makeover mentality” for a sustainable future. Exploring alternative financial solutions allows for greater patient flexibility while reducing the burdens on internal resources.
- The Prescription for Progress: By bidding farewell to internal payment plans, healthcare providers can redirect their time, talent, and money toward vital areas. This shift enables a stronger focus on delivering quality care, investing in technological advancements, and refining the patient experience. Streamlining billing processes and embracing innovative financing options create a positive environment, fostering patient loyalty, satisfaction, and improved health outcomes.
It's time to untangle the web of internal payment plans in healthcare. Many revenue cycle departments feel obliged to provide a no-interest option for patients, but that doesn’t mean you have to manage the program and delay receipt of funds. Reverting to the past is not a viable option, and waiting for change to happen naturally is a decaying choice. Healthcare providers must acknowledge the need for restructuring and shed outdated practices. By embracing alternative financial options and freeing up valuable resources, providers can pave the way for a brighter, more patient-centric healthcare system. It's time to prescribe progress and bid adieu to the limitations of internal payment plans.
1 Eric Jordahl, Managing Director “The Balance Sheet Bridge.” Kaufman Hall, www.kaufmanhall.com/insights/blog/balance-sheet-bridge. Accessed 14 June 2023.