Vendor Relationships: 3 Questions with Tyler Crawford, CEO of BHG Patient Lending, on how to build successful partnerships with vendors

While today’s consumers are forced to pay higher out-of-pocket costs to cover non-insured procedures, they’re struggling with having the means to cover them.

According to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half of Americans (49%) are worried about not being able to afford healthcare services they need. What’s more, the study reports that four in 10 consumers wouldn’t be able to come up with $400 to pay for a medical emergency.

Given this data, offering patient financing can be a wise move, and as surgery centers evaluate the best options to offer, there are important factors to consider when choosing a partner. Tyler Crawford, CEO of BHG Patient Lending, discusses how to form a strong partnership with a patient financing vendor and how his organization is different from the others on the market.

Question: What is the most important thing providers should consider when establishing vendor relationships?

Tyler Crawford: The cost of a procedure and how to pay for it can be a difficult conversation for both staff and patients; choosing the right partner can help make it easier for both sides. With so many options available on the market today, it requires due diligence to identify the best fit for your facility.

First and foremost, when it comes to patient financing, a vendor should be a true partner who delivers ongoing value and, to the best of its ability, serves as an extension of your facility. Your staff works hard to create a positive patient experience, and that should be carried over across all vendor relationships, especially when it comes to something as personal as financing.

The most important aspects of a vendor relationship are understanding, trust, and reliability. Seek to understand the level of support a vendor will provide beyond the initial sale, and how their product will truly serve staff and patients. You can ask questions like:

• What level of ongoing service do you offer after onboarding?
• What percentage of consumers qualify for the program, and how is that audience reflected in our patient base?
• What are the terms, and will they work for our patients?
• Are there promotional periods patients need to be aware of?
• What are the costs to our facility?
• Are there penalty fees?

Q: What determines if a provider and vendor will be good partners?

TC: A good partnership will result when goals and expectations are aligned between your facility and the vendor. Transparency is key in making this happen. Be sure that you understand:

• The true costs involved for both patients and the surgery center so there are no surprises
• The level of ongoing service and support provided by the vendor
• The benefits, as well as any potential hurdles, the product provides to patients and staff.

Concurrently, be sure the vendor understands your patient population, their needs, and your facility’s goals. Clarity will help make the relationship so much more meaningful and valuable.

Q: What makes your organization’s mission unique?

TC: BHG Patient Lending was founded under Bankers Healthcare Group (BHG), which has been disrupting the finance industry since 2001 by providing innovative lending solutions to licensed healthcare professionals. BHG has nearly two decades of experience providing financing solutions that benefit healthcare professionals and the facilities they run. BHG Patient Lending brings a similar model to patient financing, providing hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers with affordable financing options that help patients pay for their procedures, while helping facilities gain back the financial stability and revenue streams they need to reach and serve more people in the community.

At BHG Patient Lending, we strive to help healthcare facilities ease the burden of mounting receivables and increased procedure abandonment, providing a better way to help patients pay for their out-of-pocket healthcare expenses not covered by insurance.

While other patient financing programs are often associated with having hidden fees and hassle, BHG Patient Lending offers:

• No provider fees.
• Up to 100% approval – patients with a credit score above 0 can be approved.
• Flexible repayment terms.
• Support from local community banks.

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