Digital Lending Solutions For Patient Financing

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Rising healthcare costs are deterring patients from seeking medical intervention even in critical cases. There are many cases where patients who were diagnosed with a critical illness at early stages, did not reveal any detail to their family members. 

They did not want their loved ones to spend their life savings on their healthcare costs. By the time the family finally is aware of what the patient is going through, the ship has sailed. There is practically too little that can be done after the illness has spread to further stages. These stories of anguish to meet healthcare costs are sad scenes from the lives of many Americans struggling with the inflationary expenses of healthcare. 

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Banks rising to support healthcare

Banks have been the lending point for business and trade for centuries. As a financial intermediary that facilitates liquidity, banks help in financing trade and commerce across the world. Over the last few decades, lending products have been developed to serve specific purposes like home purchases, vehicles, and education. In recent times, banks have stepped up to support patient financing needs so that rising healthcare costs need not impact the decision of a patient to forgo their treatment plans. Banks have equipped their arsenal with a commercial lending platform, to provide digital solutions that can help the burgeoning influx of patients who need lending options to meet their healthcare bills. 

What is patient financing?

A loan that covers the treatment expenses one incurs for self or a close family member is considered a patient financing or a patient loan. It can be handed as a loan product or credit card used exclusively for healthcare and hospital expenses. 

Healthcare units that are not experienced in handling lending products have partnered with banks and credit unions that will help the patients secure a loan to cover the expenses of a treatment plan. 

This is the ideal situation as healthcare facilities are not experienced in the tasks of underwriting a loan. Whereas, banks that are entities with expertise in credit assessment can devise a product that is viable both in business interest and purposeful for the end-user. 

Is patient financing required?

  • Unplanned medical expenses

Healthcare inflation is increasing every year when the cost of research expenses is adjusted in the medical bills and a part of the burden is passed on to the patients. Often people find it hard to pay for an unplanned visit to a health clinic for a basic consultation fee which is under 500 dollars. Unfortunately, instead of getting a physician’s opinion, they try to live with the pain till it becomes unbearable. 

To overcome the problem faced by patients to cover expenses for their treatment plans, healthcare facilities refer them to patient financing options. These financing options are loan products that are tailor-made to cover only the expenses of the treatment plan. 

Patients can exercise the option through any of the lending partners that the healthcare facility has partnered with and a loan amount that is sufficient to meet the cost of the treatment will be paid directly to the clinic or the hospital. 

  • Higher deductibles and copays

With more insurance with high deductibles and copays, often paying their share of expenses by the patient is difficult. When they incur a health episode at a time when they are running low on cash, then despite having insurance they cannot take up the treatment as the copay is high and sometimes the deductibles are as much as two thousand dollars. A staggering percentage of people cannot afford the deductible and copay amount during an unplanned visit to a hospital or a clinic. 

How can banks reduce the burden on patients?

Healthcare and patient financing is a relatively new and niche market. However, lending is not new for a bank or a credit union. They have the expertise in place to review the risks and assume what is the ideal rate of return to be expected for a loan product.

Banks that have revamped their lending product cycle through digital loan origination software can process numerous applications seamlessly. 

Let us take a look at how the loan origination process of banks can help patients finance their healthcare costs at a time when they need the funds:

  1. Simply accessible loans

Digital loans are automated products that are powered with AI using robotics processes. The entire process of collecting the patient’s data required for a loan can be done online through multiple channels like web portals and apps. The information is auto-captured from the personal information proofs for address and other details. A form is completed with an easy process as the chatbots give sufficient information guiding a person to fill in the correct information. 

  1. Quick loan disbursal

The digitized products are efficient, complete the entire loan cycle within a few hours and the loan is approved quickly. The loan origination process usually takes a few weeks in a traditional format. But with automation, data collection, credit assessment, cross-verification through third-party API, and risk metrics are verified within a few hours of applying. 

  1. Mitigating payment and processing risk

Banks can verify the patient’s data and review their financial ability to repay the loan taken for treatment plans through AI-powered digital loan software. The risk of payment processing and repayment of the loan is thus mitigated and the loan is sanctioned only after the application is found to be genuine with the borrower having the ability to repay a loan. 

Conclusion:

While healthcare divisions have to devise methods to bring down the costs and make patient care affordable to everyone, it is also a fact that many patients currently are not able to meet their healthcare expenses. In given circumstances, coming up with patient financing options that can aid the affected patients with options to undergo their treatment without any clinical hitches is a practical solution that healthcare facilities must explore. Pragmatic options that can help bridge the gap in healthcare with digital loan origination software are welcome facets in the future.