Hospital Shares Success Story of Payment Plan Program

A Missouri hospital is sharing the successes of a payment plan program it has developed to help individuals manage their healthcare debts.

Excelsior Springs Hospital partnered with a vendor — CarePayment — to build the payment plan program. Individuals can sign up for the program and the payments can be stretched out to as long as 70 months, depending on the balance on the account. The hospital has engaged in a multi-prong educational campaign, with not only hospital staff, but using local health fairs to educate the public about the payment plan option.

The educational campaign aims to ensure that individuals come in to the facility whenever they need it, and not to wait until they can afford it, when their condition may be more serious and require additional care.

The hospital also decides to send accounts to collections earlier than most hospitals. If no payment is received for 45 days, the account is referred to a third-party collection agency. Most hospitals wait as long as 90 days before sending an unpaid bill to a collection agency. According to a recent study, only 2% of hospitals send accounts to collections before the debt is 60 days overdue. Using a vendor for the payment plan product and a third-party agency for collecting unpaid debts allows the hospital to focus on its core skillset — making people better.

“ …We didn’t want to be a bank,” said the hospital’s interim chief executive. “The hospital did not have much experience with that.”



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