December 17, 2020

Target Patients’ Financial Sweet Spots for Best Financial Return

What do tennis rackets, baseball bats and golf balls all have in common? Each has an elusive “sweet spot” where maximum performance occurs with the least amount of pressure or vibration. Knowing exactly where to swing a racket, bat, or golf club to take advantage of the sweet spot takes years of practice.

Until recently, the same could be said for setting up effective healthcare payment plans.

In fact, many healthcare payment plans were more like a crude math exercise in which the amount owed was divided by a set number of months to determine the monthly payment due. The problem with that approach is that it left many patients who could not afford the determined amount out in left field. Walking away from their healthcare financial obligation—like the defeated player who dejectedly exits the playing field—often was the unfortunate result.

But consider a payment plan designed with the precision of a professional athlete’s racket or bat. A plan that relies on analytics to determine exactly the right amount a patient truly can pay each month. Instead of striking out and walking away, patients are given precisely the right tool to assume their financial responsibilities instead of leaving providers holding a bag of bad debt.

Analytics have come a long way since the days of one-dimensional credit scores. By using more human context, including behavioral characteristics, payment plans can be designed to target a patient’s unique financial sweet spot. Iterative modeling and machine learning can be engaged to create a more flexible and compassionate payment experience that is spot on.

If you get the payment plan right, results can be impressive.

Like a golf pro who hits the sweet spot and watches the ball travel the maximum distance on shots from the tee box, fairway and even the rough, your patients can meet their financial obligation without breaking a sweat. And, believe it or not, this might lead to a payment plan that estimates a higher amount or fewer payments than the old division approach would suggest. With analytics, the guesswork is replaced with clear insight into each person’s unique financial sweet spot.

Getting payment plans into the sweet spot has other winning consequences too, like patient loyalty and satisfaction. With many people unemployed and facing financial uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, now is the time to get it right. Your patients’ financial sweet spot is the place to start.