The Senate Health Committee has proposed legislation to decrease out-of-pocket costs for patients. Proposed reforms will take on the anti-vaccination movement, maternal mortality rate, and prescription prices.
Another issue the Senate plans to address is the surprise medical bills phenomenon. Yet to get to the root of the problem, it’s healthcare networks that need reform.
In the meantime, there is something healthcare providers can do to help patients pay surprise out-of-network bills. Medical lending programs let patients pay bills over time while providers are reimbursed up front for their services.
If you want to know more about how a patient lending program can improve your hospital’s out-of-network bill collection rate, keep reading.
Why Surprise Medical Bills?
According to a University of Chicago survey, 57% of Americans have received a surprise medical bill. And out-of-network charges account for at least 20% of those same bills.
Network plans came into play in the ‘80s. They were put in place so that payers could gain more leverage in price negotiations and save money. Insurers promised higher patient volumes to in-network providers and lower premiums to patients.
The majority of plans today feature narrow networks, which means fewer providers in the area will take a patient’s insurance. This is true even if the patient has met their deductible. What’s worse is that few people understand the implications of narrow networks.
Lack of understanding combined with the need for emergency care can lead to patients unknowingly seeing an out-of-network provider. And when they’re hit with $2,000, $5,000, and even $10,000 surprise bills a few weeks later, patients can’t pay.
Medical Lending Helps Patients Pay
Patients who receive surprise medical bills don’t want to skip out on their debts. But when insurance dubs an emergency visit out-of-network, most patients just aren’t prepared to pay what they owe.
Yet many patients say they could cover surprise medical bills if given the option to pay over time.
Epic River’s medical lending program connects your patients with our partner banks. Once a patient signs up through our user-friendly portal, providers are paid in full. Meanwhile, patients repay their low-interest loan in a way that suits their unique budget.
Want to know more about how our financing program can help you collect more out-of-network medical debts? Contact us to find out how our program can help your patients pay surprise medical bills.