MaineGeneral Health is one of three health systems in the U.S. to be named 2019 Patient Financing Top Performers by patient financing service provider ClearBalance® in conjunction with the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).
The ClearBalance zero-interest financing program helps patients pay their health care bills over time. MaineGeneral began using the ClearBalance program in 2018 and is being recognized for Top Performer – Greatest Impact to Patients. In seven months, the ClearBalance program helped patients manage their medical costs for nearly 16,000 hospital visits. During that same time, an average 290 patients per month used the ClearBalance program to manage their costs for additional services at MaineGeneral Health, either for themselves, their spouse or dependents.
“We don’t want cost to be a barrier to receiving needed care. With ClearBalance, patients know they have a financing option so they aren’t as likely to delay care. Giving patients an option to pay their out-of-pocket costs over time definitely impacts satisfaction and loyalty,” said Buffy Higgins, senior director, Revenue Cycle. “It’s been a positive experience for our patients, including our own employees who need extended financing to pay their portion of care. It’s the right thing to do.”
In 2018, 92 percent of patients offered the ClearBalance program agreed to use it, Higgins added. Of that 92 percent, 95 percent paid their bill in full. “Offering affordable financing proves that most patients want to pay their out-of-pocket costs if they have a reasonable way to do so,” Higgins said. “MaineGeneral is seeing an improvement in financial performance as a result – helping patients from going to bad debt due to their cost of care.”
This is the fourth year ClearBalance has recognized health systems for their ability to achieve Top Performance with patient financing. CentraCare Health in Minnesota and UPMC Pinnacle in Pennsylvania also achieved top honors this year. Previous winners include Hackensack Meridian Health, Novant Health, Essentia Health and Mosaic Life Care.
“Health systems often experience immediate financial and patient satisfaction results when partnering with ClearBalance for patient financing,” said ClearBalance President and CEO Bruce Haupt. “We’re pleased to see such tremendous performance from first-year and longtime partners.”