SAN DIEGO – June 10, 2019 –Until recently, medical groups and primary care physicians were largely immune to consumer forces of convenience and affordability that have affected hospitals and health systems. That’s because physicians historically enjoyed “repeat business” through generations of people who found familiarity and comfort with their longtime family physician. However, that’s all changing as younger generations seek cost-effective, convenient care. In fact, a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that millennials are less likely than preceding generations to have a primary care doctor. In an era of consumerism, medical groups must take steps to make their services both affordable and convenient.
One way medical groups are responding is to offer long-term financing as a way to attract cost-conscious consumers. In fact, two large health systems, one in the Northeast and another in the Midwest, have extended the ClearBalance® zero-interest patient financing program to their medical groups. The ClearBalance program gives patients a way to repay their out-of-pocket expenses for doctor’s visits, including deductibles, co-pays, pharmaceuticals and other ambulatory/outpatient balances.
According to the ClearBalance 2018 Healthcare Consumerism study, 92 percent of respondents very likely will return to a healthcare provider that offers the ClearBalance program as a payment option. By extending long-term financing to physician practices, these two organizations have improved the patient financial experience and strengthened consumer loyalty for their medical groups.
“Given the reality of healthcare costs, including the ambulatory setting, even physicians in their practices should address patients’ financial concerns by proactively offering long-term financing,” says ClearBalance President and CEO Bruce Haupt. “The mutual benefits hold tremendous promise for patients seeking affordable, convenient care and for medical groups in pursuit of consumer loyalty and optimal financial performance.”
Patients are consumers who have a voice and choice in their healthcare experience. They expect financing options to pay their out-of-pocket costs and they’ll compare their financial experience with their friends’ experiences. ClearBalance has been at the forefront of creating a positive patient financial experience for nearly 30 years, always evolving to set and deliver a high bar for a patient relationship that is compassionate, convenient and keeps the health system top of mind the next time he, she or a loved one needs care.
Keeping patients engaged to pay their medical costs also means we improve the health system’s financial performance. ClearBalance features the only HFMA Peer Reviewed ROI Value Model™, which sets nationally recognized benchmarks for long-term patient financing performance. We maintain the industry’s highest repayment rate and ClearBalance health system partners see an average 260 percent ROI within 12 months.