Of the 1,000+ Americans Flywire recently surveyed* who have medical bills, more than half typically don’t pay their entire bill at once. A full 42% of those said that making monthly payments over a period longer than 12 months would make the larger medical bills more affordable.
Enabling monthly payments that match each patient's unique financial need is critical – but with dwindling cash reserves and low to negative operating margins, many providers lack the liquidity to fund payment terms longer than 12 months.
To better align the financial needs of hospitals with the payment needs of patients, Flywire has expanded its Affordability Suite with Integrated Financing. This allows providers to offer interest-free, non-recourse payment plans that extend as long as 60 months, without the risk of carrying those receivables on the books for undetermined periods, while keeping patients in the provider's financial experience.
“It really is about patient care and being able to extend terms for the patient to be able to afford healthcare, while we get more providers paid,” said John Talaga, EVP and GM of Healthcare at Flywire. "Many of our clients are only able to service payment terms up to 24 or maybe 36 months from their reserves. And when you look at the average out-of-pocket ability to pay, that's just not enough.”
How does Flywire Integrated Financing work?
Flywire has been offering personalized, no-interest payment plans to patients for years that are funded by the healthcare provider. Flywire now allows both provider-funded plans and financed plans in the same experience, allowing clients to extend payment plan offerings to their patients. Through a partnership with San Francisco-based healthcare affordability technology company PayZen, providers receive immediate, non-recourse funding for financed plans, which are discounted based on a tiered assessment of patient risk. This gives everyone more control over their financial future.
- Providers get high-risk receivables off the balance sheet and more predictable cash flow, with no liability if a patient defaults on their plan.
- Patients can better balance multiple financial obligations because of lower payments and extended terms.
Why is integrated financing different from medical installment loans?
To date, financing installment options in healthcare haven’t gained a reputation as being the most consumer-friendly. Patient medical installment loan providers use traditional markers that deem patients credit worthy. That means the loans typically come with two red flags for patients – high or unclear interest rates, high denial rates, and/or payment terms that don’t fit patient needs. These loans often are recourse based (preventing providers from clearing the balance off their books), can include interest to the patient, and forces the patient to leave the provider payment experience.
Flywire Integrated Financing is much different because it is purpose-built for the unique challenges and considerations involved in managing medical bills.
First, personalization drives extended payment terms only to patients that need it, and for those that do, every patient qualifies, ensuring a rejection-free experience. Flywire revenue cycle management experts work with providers to define unique parameters for what receivables will meet the thresholds for financing options – striking the right balance between in-house payment plans and those that use financing.
Patients aren’t saddled with any interest or fees that tack on financial burden. Integrated Financing has zero interest, no surprise fees, and is non-recourse.
Perhaps most importantly, Flywire applies the same technology used to personalize in-house payment plans to those that are financed. Flywire is integrated with the system of record, bringing together data in the EHR system and external data sources to build a complete risk profile and serve up the right, personalized payment options to the patient online.
That is important because:
- Everything looks the same to the patient. They click and pick a plan, and can enroll in minutes, sans the paper-heavy process and separate applications such financing plans often come with.
- Providers enjoy the same, streamlined payment ease. Behind the scenes, Flywire does the work of routing that payment to the right recipient – the provider or PayZen, streamlining reconciliation.
“It’s a true mission-driven endeavor,” Talaga said of the PayZen and Flywire partnership. “Financing is applied strategically, personalized to the patient and integrated to the billing system. It’s purpose-built for the unique needs of the healthcare industry, and we are excited to lead this transformation from traditional financing.”
A complete healthcare Affordability Suite
Integrated Financing is just one example of Flywire’s continued commitment to combating the healthcare affordability crisis. Patients and providers need more tools, and Flywire continues to add options to cover the full spectrum of patient financial need. This includes partnerships like the one with PayZen that improve access and boost collectability, from making it easier to access philanthropic medical financial aid through Flywire partner Atlas Health.
“We’ve continued to expand the payment options in our Affordability Suite with fully integrated, non-recourse patient financing, digital patient financial engagement and much more – to make sure every patient is able to pay at their full capacity,” Talaga said.
*Flywire commissioned Big Village to conduct an online CARAVAN® survey among 1,012 U.S. adults 18 years of age and older from July 19-21, 2023.