Data Brief: 63 Pct Of Consumers Want Medical Payment Plans Offered For All Visits

Data Brief: 63 Pct Of Consumers Want Medical Payment Plans Offered For All Visits

June 24, 2021 at 06:00PM

More than any collection of market forces bearing down for decades, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that provided the needed push towards more consumer-centric healthcare models.

Surveying nearly 2,100 patients of private and group practices, PYMNTS’ recent Healthcare Payments Innovation Playbook, done in collaboration with Rectangle Health, found that nearly 21 percent of respondents paid the entire cost of their most recent medical visit out-of-pocket.

Research reveals important payment patterns between private and group practices, driving home the fact that insurance is no panacea and calling for better healthcare payment options.

Even more concerning are findings around patients’ inability to pay for and otherwise afford medical attention. Stating that nearly one-third of patients visiting dermatologists or orthopedic doctors “had difficulty paying for their visits,” and adding that “57 percent and 53 percent of private-practice orthopedic and dermatology patients, respectively, paid the entire cost of their visits,” the Healthcare Payments Innovation Playbook points to the fact that “a greater range of payment options and improved patient education about billing, insurance copays and payment arrangements are essential for private practices to remain competitive.”

Given findings from the latest Healthcare Payments Innovation Playbook, and at a time when buy now, pay later (BNPL) and installment payments are taking the payment world by storm, the Playbook notes that “most patients are interested in payment plans and simplified payment processes, but many have experienced unpleasant surprises when paying their bills. Frictions at checkout can be removed by offering clear, highly visual information that details the billing process, payment options and copays.”

Fully 63 percent of consumers want medical payment plans offered “for any reason” they might need to visit their general practitioner or medical specialist.