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10 Questions for Your Patient Financing Program

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San Diego-based CSI Financial Services LLC has created a checklist for hospitals considering a patient financing program. In the wake of recent negative publicity hospitals have weathered over their efforts to collect from the uninsured, the list offers some not-so-common-sense suggestions:

1. Does the program reach the maximum number of patients? Some programs don’t accept patients who are most in need of a loan.

2. Is it easy for patients to use? Don’t require patients to complete lengthy applications.

3. Is it easy for your hospital to administer? Be able to score healthcare obligations with a high degree of accuracy.

4. Does the program streamline processes that are already in place? Find programs that minimize the need to change hospital procedures or buy hardware or software

5. Does it offer the ability to consolidate patient debt over time? Look for a program that can consolidate receivables from multiple patient visits.

6. Does it provide professional and compassionate management of patient accounts? Make sure any partner is experienced with healthcare debt and treats patients with respect and dignity.

7. What is the track record of the funding company? In other words, how long has the company been in business, and how many funding sources does it have?

8. Does the funding company listen to its customers? If your hospital wants to give loans to any willing patient regardless of credit score, the funding partner should be able to accommodate this.

9. How flexible is the funding company? Is a partner willing to tailor its requirements to the hospital’s needs?

10. Does the partner company work with hospitals to gain community acceptance of the patient financing service? Look for a partner that can help with the public relations component of sometimes-controversial patient financing programs.

—Philip Betbeze