Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Almost Left Behind - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine - April 2018

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 49 of 108

Plus, in me they had a happy patient to whom they didn't have to send a single billing statement nor make a single collections call. From patient to provider This happened about 10 years ago, a few years before I became the business manager at Hoffman Estates Surgery Center in suburban Chicago. Now I'm the one handing patients the phone (or giving them the website) so they can apply for healthcare credit. Whether they apply by phone or online, I tell them it only takes 2 minutes or 3 clicks to get approved. Yes, it's hard discussing finances with patients, but here's how I explain our financing option to those who otherwise might have to forgo surgery because they can't afford their deductibles: "Today we're able to offer you a credit card with deferred — and hopefully no — interest that will give you 6 months to pay for your deductible with convenient, low monthly payments." You just gave the patient an easy way out of forking over $1,000 — and took away his reason to cancel. Not everybody is approved, of course, but it's estimated that about 60% are, even those with low or poor credit scores. If a patient is declined, well, at least you tried to offer him a less-expensive option than a traditional credit card. Locking in the patient portion I'll never forget that helpless feeling I had in the oral surgeon's office when the cost of surgery was going to prevent my son from getting the procedure he needed. Who wants to be told that they can't have their procedure because they don't have enough money on the spot? But insurance has put so many of our patients in just that position. It has also put surgical centers in a tough spot. On the one hand, you 5 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • A P R I L 2 0 1 8

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