Blog | December 12, 2022

Patients have spoken – and they’re tired of interest-bearing patient financing solutions

Couple discussing over medical bill while sitting on sofa

As the medical debt crisis continues to take its toll on the financial and mental well-being of healthcare consumers across the country, more and more patient financing vendors have reared their heads in the healthcare space offering a solution. Their business plan is simple – partner with health systems and hospitals to offer their patients a seemingly affordable option in the form of payment plans.

With promises of monthly low balances that fit into the everyday patient’s budget, patients are told they can afford the care they need without going into major debt or needing to meet certain qualifiers (i.e., credit score). For healthcare providers, this increases the patient’s likelihood to pay their medical bills, which increases their cash on hand and prevents them from taking on more bad debt. The patient financing vendors take a cut from the provider’s collections – a win-win for all parties involved. Right?

Unfortunately, these interest-bearing payment plans are causing patients to go deeper into medical debt. According to a poll conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation in June 2022, about 50 million people nationwide (1 in 5 adults) are on a financing plan to pay off a medical or dental bill. Further research from the same study found that around a quarter of those borrowers are paying interest on their bills.

Building off these findings, Kaiser Health News recently published their research on just how damaging these predatory, interest-bearing financing solutions can be on the modern patient. More than not, patients are not aware of the extent of the interest, and it adds up. These studies, on top of other recent headlines, highlight the predatory nature of these collection practices that patient financing vendors can offer and how they actively contribute to the growing patient debt crisis.

When interest can add hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to already hard-to-pay medical bills, it’s vital for providers to know that they have options for a truly patient-centered financing solution that enhances their bottom line as well as the well-being of their patients. Upon surveying CarePayment members, 0% said they would prefer paying their medical bills with an interest-bearing solution, while 74% said they prefer to use CarePayment’s interest-free solution. Couple this with the increasing federal crackdown on the medical debt crisis and deferred-interest patient financing solutions, and it’s clear that offering zero-interest, transparent patient financing is key for providers looking to thrive in 2023 and beyond.

CarePayment offers zero-interest patient financing with a unique approach that drives high engagement and yield. By giving patients affordable, long-term options for paying off debt without interest, patients are more willing and able to pay their debt, and providers collect money on medical bills that may have otherwise gone to collections. Every patient qualifies for CarePayment financing, meeting the needs of patient populations everywhere and driving patient satisfaction and retention. Leveraging CarePayment, providers can ensure the financial health of both their bottom line and patients alike.