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The recent economic decline and high unemployment rates have left many struggling to make ends meet on a tight budget. Although the healthcare system is designed to improve health and general wellbeing, it has often led to financial hardships for many across the globe.
Recent statistics have shown an increase in households with some type of medical debt. Medical debt significantly impacts a family’s financial stability and can lead to stress and anxiety. The inability of patients to afford treatment costs has been a challenge to the healthcare system.
Here’s how hospitals can help cash-strapped patients with funding options:
Efficient Payment Plans
An effective way to help cash-strapped patients is to expand and improve the available payment plans. Although hospitals tend to prevent patients from clearing their bills over a specified period, flexible payment plans can ensure healthcare services can be easily and readily available for all in need.
It is best to create viable options that will allow you to structure and administer payment plans to minimize default payments. Flexible payment plans work better for hospitals instead of focusing on pursuing debt collections.
Patients can also benefit from personal loans for unexpected medical expenses to deal with the bills. Patients who may have incurred higher medical expenses than their income can be eligible for financial assistance and repayment programs.
Sustainable Treatment Plans
It is crucial to ascertain the patient’s medical insurance coverage to create a realistic and sustainable healthcare plan for the patient. However, it is best to ensure you do not compromise the quality of the services and treatment offered. Some of the ways you can offer sustainable treatment plans to cash-strapped patients include:
- Virtual consultations – Technological advancement in the health care system has enabled patients to enjoy the benefits of virtual consultations. It is a convenient option that helps cash-strapped patients cut down on travel and consultation costs. It is also effective for chronic patients who may require medical checkups and consultations from home.
- Generic medication – It may be more affordable for your patients to receive generic medication. The generic medication is still as effective, and patients will be able to save money while still receiving quality treatment.
- Medical Aid Rates – It can be a great idea to figure out any shared benefits for the hospital and the patients by providing medical aid rates for the coverage. Patients are more likely to stick to their treatment plan when the expenses are few.
- Support patients in making informed decisions – Health care institutions should assist patients in ensuring they make the best decisions. It can be helpful to use price transparency tools to ensure the patients understand the costs better and help them wade through their options. It can also benefit the patient to feel supported and ensure they can deal with the stress and anxiety better.
Health Credit Cards
An increasing number of hospitals and healthcare providers have introduced health credit cards. The cards allow the patients to clear their bills by making payments in installments over a specified period. Patients are also not charged any interest during the set period, provided the payments are made on time.
Patients have to apply to a credit card company. If their application is successful, the credit card company takes responsibility for the risk involved in the payments. It is essential to seek expert advice to understand the terms and conditions of the card. It is also important to remember there is often a determined credit card limit.
Healthcare providers need to take proactive action to reduce the patients’ medical debt by taking advantage of patient-centered approaches.
Identifying the gaps can help facilitate the patients’ financial assistance and repayment options. Wellness plans aim to provide quality service while catering to all the involved parties.
It can be difficult for some individuals to pay for an annual wellness visit in a single installment. A wellness plan allows individuals to make monthly installments to provide specific health services. Some of the standard services such plans include vaccinations and annual physical checkups.
Hospitals can play a significant role in helping cash-strapped patients receive quality health care. It can impact and improve patient wellnesses and care experience while avoiding medical debts. It also helps to build and improve the relationship between the community and the health care facility.