What to do When Patients Can’t Pay: Medical Loan Financing, Nonprofits, and More

Posted by Jessica Toney | May 14, 2019 11:31:02 AM

In 2017, patients spent $365.5 billion on out-of-pocket medical bills. And that doesn’t account for the thousands of dollars in uncollected patient debts.

When a patient can’t pay the bill, it’s frustrating for healthcare employees and bad for your bottom line. Experts suggest that you mitigate losses by asking patients upfront about their ability to pay.

But what can you do when it becomes clear an individual can’t afford the care they need? Keep reading to find out why Medicare and Medicaid, nonprofits, or medical loan financing may be the solution.

Screen Patient for Medicaid or Medicare
For patients who are uninsured, you should screen them for Medicare insurance or Medicaid assistance.

When you’re dealing with low-income patients, screen them for Medicaid. The criteria for Medicaid differ by state but qualification generally hinges on the size of the patient’s family and their monthly household income.

You can also screen disabled or elderly patients for Medicare. People over 65 and disabled individuals of all ages can qualify. But Medicare patients must pay small monthly premiums and deductibles.

Direct Patients to Local Nonprofits
If your practice or hospital is for-profit, you can direct patients to local nonprofit health care providers.

Nonprofits are legally required to offer patients assistance if they can’t pay their healthcare bills. This includes procedures and surgeries that are medically necessary or emergency care.

These institutions are also partially reimbursed for charity care. That means a patient may qualify for completely free treatment at no burden to the nonprofit provider.

Inform Patients about Medical Loan Financing
If a patient can’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid and doesn’t have access to a nonprofit hospital then medical loan financing can help.

Patient loans were created to aid people in covering bills that are too high to pay out of pocket. They help low-income people build up credit and HDHP patients cover exorbitant out of pocket maximums or out-of-network bills.

Are you searching for a medical financing program to install at your hospital or practice? Find out more about Epic River’s patient lending program or contact us for information about our other financing options.

Topics: Medical Loan Financing

Written by Jessica Toney

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