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Flexible Payment Plans Can Help Increase Collection Efforts

The best payment plans are standardized ones where everyone — the agency, the creditor, and the individuals — know what is expected of them, according to a published report.

There is a need for flexibility, but also a need for ensuring that organizations are doing what they can to try and get debts repaid.

More individuals are having a tougher time making payments, especially on healthcare debts, and healthcare organizations and the collection agencies working on their behalf are having to develop new methods for getting individuals to pay their debts. Payment plans have shown to be a workable compromise for both organizations and individuals.

The report spotlights how one healthcare organization in Georgia instituted a payment plan program and how it has helped get more individuals paying their debts.

Offering incentives like a discount when paying on time or if a first payment is made within 30 days also helped get more money in the door.

Ultimately, the organization partnered with a company that offers patient payment plans.

What the system found was that most people truly do want to pay their bill — they just need access to the appropriate avenues.

Fron the report:

One thing that’s universal, though, is that patients are having a more difficult time than ever in paying their hospital bills. New approaches are needed.

“Back in the day, if you had a $300 copay, it was earth shattering,” said [Julianne Dreon, assistant vice president of Revenue Cycle Management at AnMed Health]. “Today, if you have a $3,000 copay, that’s a good plan. It’s not possible for families to account for that in their budget. You’ve got to give them options. If we want to be here for patients in the future and we want to buy those great MRI machines, the bottom line has to exist. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it has to exist.”

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