Patients are more accessible and devoting time to resolving their bills.
ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (PRWEB) July 13, 2020
Mnet Health (‘Mnet’), the leading end-to-end payment solutions and patient billing services provider for the surgical industry, reports that it saw an increase in total patient payment by 1.6% compared to the period prior to Covid-19.
Despite the coronavirus crisis, more patients either paid in full, made larger payments, or established payment plans:
- Payment in full increased by 2.0%
- Payment size increased by 3.3%
- Payment plans established increased by 13.3%
The current pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of people’s lives and consumer spending is no exception. The way patients seek out and pay for care is changing dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lockdown measures and infection risks have restricted what consumers can spend money on. With restaurants and shops being shut and air travel being suspended, spending is generally down across many, if not all, industries.
Consumers became less inclined to spend more on non-essentials. Many expect their household income to continue to fall in the coming months as 1.5 million Americans filed new unemployment claims for the week ending June 13.
Last year, nearly one quarter of Americans reported having unpaid or past-due medical bills. Millions are now facing some tough choices like determining which bills to pay and which to put off. But why the increase in patient payments during the pandemic?
Here’s what Mnet discovered:
More patients are staying at home and are easier to contact. Even after the lockdown restrictions were eased, they were far more available and easier to be reached. Mnet’s patient contact percentages went up by 44.6% as a result.
This trend is in line with patients increasingly using telehealth and online shopping. Even as local officials lift restrictions, many people are still wary and plan to wait longer before resuming their old routines.
Patients have more time to devote to resolving their balance. Oftentimes in order to resolve a balance, the patient and Mnet would need to communicate with the insurance company. This process typically takes extra time and hasn’t always been easy to accomplish with patient’s busy schedules and the limited time to make contact with insurance companies.
However, during the pandemic, Mnet’s length of time on the phone with patients increased by 5.6%. This means longer and more meaningful conversations with patients which also led to more payment in full and more payment plans established.
With the pandemic, patients have had more time to sit down and review their finances. According to the latest TransUnion Financial Hardship Report, 60% of consumers plan to reach out to the companies that manage their accounts to discuss payment plans.
Patients are concerned with keeping their account in good standing to protect their credit and are changing their behavior as they spend less on vacationing and eating out. Instead, they are using their money to pay down debt and keep their credit lines open.
A recent survey by Money Done Right and Google Consumer Surveys showed that 43 percent of Americans plan to use their stimulus money to pay off debt. The CARES Act provided stimulus checks of $1,200 to individuals with annual income below $75,000 and $2,400 to married couples filing taxes jointly who earn under $150,000.
A recent Harris Poll also found that nearly one-half of Americans (48%) are concerned the virus-induced recession would impact their credit score.
During these uncertain times, more patients wanted to pay in full or establish a payment plan. Patients from all financial classes expressed that they wanted to pay their provider as well as protect their credit.
Patients are expressing gratitude to those on the frontlines in the healthcare system who are working tirelessly to take care of their local community. Some healthcare workers in certain states do not even receive extra hazard or crisis pay for working during the pandemic.
Patients have made it clear that they are showing their gratitude for hard working medical professional heroes by paying their financial responsibility in a timely fashion. Mnet has received more thanks and appreciation for the medical staff who attended them in calls with patients.
Overall, patient-pay performed at a much greater rate than the pre-coronavirus months of June. The pandemic has put the healthcare industry in the spotlight and has caused patients to rethink their financial situation in these unprecedented times.
With its mission to help patients pay, Mnet will continue to track patient payment performances closely.
How healthcare providers help patients pay during this time of crisis will have a lasting impact on their business and the communities in the future.
About Mnet Health
Mnet is a revenue cycle service & technology provider partnering with the surgical industry to provide custom patient-pay solutions to surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and management companies. As of 2020, Mnet is serving over 700 surgical facilities nationwide both directly and in support of centralized billing offices. Mnet’s brand, PaySUITE, is a platform of payment technologies that helps providers improve the patient financial experience while boosting collections performance. For more information, visit https://mnethealth.com/.
We believe every patient deserves a helpful, transparent, easy to navigate financial experience in healthcare.