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August 12, 2015

Yampa Valley Medical Center Taps Industry Leader CarePayment to Help Patients Pay Medical Bills

By Shannon Conklin

0.00% APR payment plans help patients manage medical bills in affordable monthly payments over time

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO and PORTLAND, OR (August 12, 2015) – Yampa Valley Medical Center (YVMC) is enhancing patient services by adding CarePayment patient financing programs. With CarePayment, YVMC patients can pay Yampa Valley Medical Center - CarePaymentmedical bills in affordable monthly installments for up to 36 months at 0.00% APR for the life of the account and with no impact to credit scores.

“This new service is a great benefit to our patients,” said Kelly Clasen, Senior Director Revenue Cycle, for YVMC, which serves residents throughout Northwest Colorado as well as visitors from around the world who come to Steamboat Springs for its famous skiing and hot springs. “Even before a bill has arrived, patients know that there’s already a plan in place.  They can concentrate on getting better instead of worrying about how they will pay for care.”

Paying for care has become a big issue for growing numbers of patients at YVMC and across the nation as the shift to high deductible health plans (HDHPs) has increased patient financial responsibility. While HDHPs offer lower monthly premiums than do traditional insurance plans, they also have higher annual individual and family deductibles. The average annual deductible among employees has risen 47 percent since 2009, from $826 to $1,217, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Yet almost three in 10 Americans say they have no emergency savings, according to Bankrate.com.

To fill that gap, CarePayment’s patient financing program is a flexible open-end line of credit, not a credit card or loan. Patients can manage their accounts in a variety of ways, including automatic payments, mobile and online account access, and paper or electronic statements.  Patients also can add new medical costs to their accounts.

In addition to introducing CarePayment, YVMC has launched a range of patient financial services to help people navigate the changing healthcare system. It has become a certified application counselor organization and it holds Open Enrollment Tuesdays at its facilities in the fall and winter to help people understand their insurance options and sign up for coverage through the Insurance Market Place. These efforts, along with its 100 years of service and commitment to the community, earned YVMC the 2014 Navigator Award for business of the year from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

“With high deductibles becoming the norm, new insurance requirements and other changes to healthcare coverage, we want our communities to know that we are a go-to resource for insurance questions. With our Get Covered program, we set up booths at local fairs and other area events to answer questions about health insurance,” says Heather Rose, Manager of Marketing and Communications. “We think having affordable ways to help people pay for care, including health insurance and CarePayment, is part of our mission to care for the people in our communities.”

“We are pleased such a progressive healthcare provider as YVMC chose the CarePayment program. We couldn’t agree more with its comprehensive approach to treating the patient, including caring for their financial health, rather than narrowly focusing on just a person’s condition or illness,” says Craig Hodges, CarePayment CEO. “CarePayment gives patients flexible options for closing the healthcare affordability gap while helping YVMC receive payment for the vital services it provides to its communities.”