COVID-19 has shaken our world, our way of life, and is deeply impacting our clients and the communities they serve across the country. While we are in the midst of contending with the clinical challenges, the economic ones are just beginning to manifest themselves. We’re seeing unprecedented numbers of unemployment claims and furloughed workers, and it already seems likely that the economic fallout from the pandemic will persist for many months past the immediate clinical crisis. That’s why, at VisitPay, we know our core values of providing transparency, choice, and control to the healthcare financial experience are more important now than ever.
Giving Help to Healthcare
Some of our clients are managing very large numbers of COVID-19 cases, but all of them are seeing rapid economic fallout. We are monitoring charge and payment rates across health systems with over $60B in Net Patient Revenue and have registered significant double-digit declines in gross charges, particularly in elective outpatient procedures but also across the board in emergency and inpatient services.
Healthcare providers and their patients are facing economic changes and challenges unlike any we’ve seen in more than a decade. With these challenges comes the need for solutions—ways to simplify the system, communicate options and get help to people that need it. That’s where we come in.
Our initial response has seen us mobilize colleagues from across the VisitPay organization to work on COVID-19 economic response strategies. We’ve already implemented two significant updates to our consumer payment platform, will have a third ready next week, and have a significant pipeline of future updates that our product and engineering teams are hard at work on. We’re consulting with our clients daily to prioritize new functionality that will best help them and their patients.
Giving Help to Patients
We’ve focused our work in two areas:
Patient Communications: we’re making it easy for patients to find information about both the clinical and financial situations they may be dealing with. We’ve launched a dedicated COVID-19 Help Center within VisitPay, with advice for patients on how to get financial support to manage their healthcare bills. Working with our clients we’re also adjusting account aging rules to be more lenient and changing account-related messaging to be responsive and sympathetic to the situation that many Americans suddenly find themselves in.
Payment Relief: so far we’ve implemented six product updates to help patients with new payment relief options. These options are designed to provide flexibility in payment terms while keeping patients engaged in the financial process in a tailored way that makes sense for them. All relief options are available through our clients’ Customer Service Representative and, at the client’s choosing, can be made available on a self-servicing basis to patients in a targeted or fully available fashion.
Overall, we are working with our clients to ensure that those in need of medical help get treatment without the added stresses of financial uncertainty. And that those in need of financial support get it, in a timely and efficient way.
Going forward, we believe that patients will value flexibility in their financial arrangements, and providers will value active engagement from the patient in the financial experience. Our technology platform and our team’s expertise in consumer finance and engagement are coming together to bring this to life across thousands of financial touchpoints each day.
How We’re Adapting to Support You
Just like everyone else, we’ve had to adapt to this ever-changing reality. We’re doing our part to help flatten the curve by adjusting to a remote-work environment while staying dedicated to offering the same level of service as always.
Above all, we’re proud to do our part as we work together—as a company, country, and planet—to bring an end to this virus. We’re proud to partner with the healthcare teams working long hours in high-risk environments to help patients recover from both the clinical and financial consequences of COVID-19.
Our commitment to our clients and to helping build a better health system has never been stronger.