Mnet Health, a company providing revenue cycle management services to the surgical industry, reported a 1.6 percent year-over-year increase in patient payments in June, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Payment in full was up 2 percent, payment size increased by 3.3 percent and there were 13.3 percent more payment plans established in June 2020 than in June 2019.
According to Mnet, four factors contributed to these numbers:
1. Patients were easier to contact due to increased time at home. Mnet's patient-contact percentages were up 44.6 percent, and its employees spent 5.6 percent more time on the phone with patients.
2. Patients are protecting their credit scores. Nearly 50 percent of Americans are worried that a COVID-19-related recession will affect their credit scores, a recent Harris Poll found. So, instead of vacationing and eating out, patients are paying down debt and keeping their credit lines open. Notably, 43 percent of Americans plan to use federal stimulus funds to pay off debt, according to a survey by Money Done Right and Google Consumer Surveys.
3. Uncertainty leads to planning. With COVID-19 thrusting healthcare into the spotlight and upending normal routines, patients are rethinking their financial circumstances. Longer phone conversations with patients have led them to establish more payment plans amid uncertainty.
4. Patients want to show gratitude to front-line healthcare workers. In conversations with Mnet, patients have been quicker to express their appreciation for medical workers. They're also showing their gratitude with timely payments.