Navigating the Tides of Patient Financing
If you were put in charge of navigating a boat across a large body of water, you would need to have an understanding of tides and depth charts for your destination. Even the best navigators plot their course and consider the tides before setting out on their journey. This article is designed to help you understand how to best navigate the changing tides of patient financing.
In this article, we will refer to the tides as patient approvals. Lets say your practice has 100 patients per month applying for financing. Your primary lender will task their credit underwriters to run the patients FICO scores, on average they turn down about 40 patients.
What happens when the economy starts looking a little dicey? The credit underwriters will tighten their reigns and turn down an average of 50 or 60 patients per month. If things get serious and we have another market crash, you could see 60-70 turndowns per month.
As you can see the changing tides bring with them uncertainty and can affect your practice in ways beyond your control. Providers are using 2 or 3 sources in an attempt to capture as many approvals as possible. Having a second solution for your patients who have been turned down by your primary lender is critical.
So what happens when you start working with 2 or more sources to treat more patients? The tide seems steady but don’t get too comfortable. Each time your patient goes through underwriting it’s a heavy administrative lift for your staff and it is taxing on the patient’s credit.
At HFD we take a holistic approach to underwriting that keeps the patients’ credit intact. We can’t see the future, but we have the next best thing — sophisticated underwriting. Patient experience is important to us so when we pull a credit score we do it in a way that won’t negatively affect your patient’s credit score. Why don’t we run a hard credit pull? At HFD our underwriting process goes way beyond FICO scores, considering gaps between jobs, even how many times a patient has moved — anything to give us extra insight into potential risk.
We ask the right questions and run the right algorithms to determine a patient’s ability to pay (with amazingly accurate results).
Setting a course for 100% approvals is a very manageable goal however those tides require a special set of skills and expertise. Like the tides, collecting payments from patients can be unpredictable, at HFD we service interest-bearing installment loans that actually get you paid. On average, HFD collects the full principal on 93% of bills across hundreds of thousands of accounts. Healthcare doesn’t have to be exclusive to patients with a high FICO score.
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