This week VisitPay entered into an exclusive agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. to extend recourse financing for our new Balance Transfer program. The first-of-a-kind program is designed to provide wholesale funding to healthcare providers and a fully automated and economically sustainable approach to financing patient receivables. The agreement is set to transform the way third-party balance sheet programs are implemented by dramatically improving the billing experiences for health systems and the consumers they serve. Key benefits include:
- the ability to accelerate cash flows to reduce days of accounts receivable (AR);
- a seamless patient experience;
- information and pricing transparency throughout the entire process.
A fully automated and economically sustainable approach to off-balance sheet financing
In an environment where the cost of care is increasingly shifting to patients, the agreement is a potential game-changer in the battle to reduce the impact of healthcare costs on both household finances and provider margins. The program will minimize days accounts receivable and improve liquidity metrics, while seamlessly maintaining VisitPay’s provider-branded online experience for patients.
The partnership allows providers to augment the unmatched billing experience created by VisitPay with a fully automated, low-cost financing solution. Providers can offload patient receivables from their balance sheet to one offered by VisitPay and JPMorgan. This is brought to life with transparent financing costs based on the provider’s specific risk profile. The result is reduced days A/R and improved patient payment rates, in a seamless provider-branded experience for patients.
Managing long-term patient debt is a dilemma for patients and providers
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40% of healthcare consumers privately purchased a high-deductible health plan in 2016 – a staggering 26% increase from 2011. Yet millions of healthcare consumers continue to struggle to understand and meet the true scope of their healthcare financial obligations, causing them to put off necessary care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
When patients postpone care because they lack choice and options for paying what they owe, providers are prevented from delivering positive clinical outcomes. This kind of healthcare consumerism is a significant challenge to health systems because it directly impacts both clinical and business aspects of the institution.
To ensure patient clinical needs are met, health systems need to become adept at the principles of consumer financing. With increasing deductibles and high copays, patient loan programs are now the norm. In fact, one not-for-profit system we know originates more consumer obligation in a day than the local banking organization.
“Managing long-term patient debt is not a core competence for most providers: it distracts them from fulfilling their core mission of delivering outstanding patient outcomes.”
—Kent Ivanoff, VisitPay CEO and Co-Founder
The benefit of cash on hand
While the problem of patients not paying has always existed in healthcare, rising deductibles have made it more common, and damaging, to a health system’s bottom line. When patients finance portions of their health care bill the debt or obligation owed by the consumer to the health system remains on the provider books for a long time – the duration of the time it takes the consumer to repay the balance. When third-party organizations advance providers a portion of a patient’s debt upfront, they help the provider reduce accounts receivable obligations and help them with liquidity challenges.
The fragmented experiences versus a consumer-centric model
A patient’s overall satisfaction with a health system is derived from a combination of their clinical and financial experience. Statistically, three out of four patients are confused by their healthcare bills. Traditional off-balance sheet programs add to the challenge by severing the patient-provider relationship – the patient experience is fragmented when balances are transferred from one system to another system. The consumer knows their balance has moved from the provider to the financing vendor – they see a different brand on a different statement. In this situation, the hospital loses contact with the consumer and is no longer in control of that patient’s experience. The patient may be left confused, or possibly concerned that they are now dealing with a collections agency.
The approach that VisitPay is undertaking with JP Morgan keeps the patient experience on a consistent digital platform – the one the provider system is already using. The VisitPay environment, which is always branded in the provider name, gives the consumer a seamless experience even when their balance is transferred to a different balance sheet. The benefits of this capability include an improved and consistent patient experience, a low cost of origination and adjustment, and the ability for the provider to select which balances transfer and which do not – automatically.
Transparency, trust and flexibility
VisitPay’s payment platform improves patient satisfaction by providing a more transparent and intuitive billing experience from start to finish – where offers and experiences can easily be tailored and tested for different consumer segments, thereby increasing payments. The platform allows patients to see what they need to pay by integrating data from the patient’s health plan and data from the health provider. VisitPay makes it easy for consumers to set-up and manage finance plans.
Summary of key advantages
Health systems looking to maximize patient payment rates while minimizing days A/R stand to gain a lot from VisitPay’s newly launched Balance Transfer program.
- One integrated brand experience
- Built-in underwriting rules and logic
- Easier to manage and administer
- Customized experiences configured by both the provider and consumer
- Transparent and intuitive end-to-end billing experience
- Improved patient satisfaction
- More cash up front
- Increased patient payments (yield)