ClearBalance Consumerism Study Finds Patients Seek Affordable Healthcare Financing

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#affordablecarefinancing–Healthcare is a big-ticket expense that requires long-term financing,
according to 91 percent of patients/consumers responding to the
ClearBalance® Healthcare Consumerism study. Now in its second
year, the Healthcare Consumerism study measures awareness, satisfaction
and loyalty with the ClearBalance consumer-friendly loan program. It
also measures patients’ use of the program and quantifies their
perceptions of healthcare providers that offer affordable financing for
medical care.

“Healthcare often is a large, unexpected expense,” says Bruce Haupt,
president and CEO of ClearBalance. “Some patients use their entire
savings to pay their medical bills, or worse, declare bankruptcy. The
ClearBalance program is a better option. Patients can afford to repay
their portion of care and often are more loyal to the health system that
offers our program.”

Increasingly, patients are demonstrating their judgment and satisfaction
rating of their healthcare organization by the amount of repeat business
and referrals they bring. Nearly all (97 percent) of the survey
respondents say a healthcare provider that offers the ClearBalance
program is providing a community benefit. Ninety percent of respondents
will return to the healthcare provider that offers a ClearBalance loan
program and 88 percent would recommend the healthcare provider to
friends and family. According to the Advisory Board Company, patients
who return to a healthcare organization within 18 months generate six
times more revenue for that provider.

ClearBalance program users are heavily weighted toward private,
employer-provided insurance. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of
respondents depend on their employer-provided insurance to help cover
medical costs. While more than half (58 percent) of all respondents say
their annual insurance deductible is $3,000 or less, clearly the
ClearBalance program fills the gap for out-of-pocket expenses. In his
healthcare blog, Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation
has noted, “A surprising percentage of people with private insurance …
simply do not have the resources to pay their deductibles.”

The 2016 Healthcare Consumerism survey was completed by more than 2,700
participants in August. Key findings include:

  • Study respondents are loyal and strong promoters of the ClearBalance

    • These positive attributes extend to the sponsoring healthcare
  • The patient’s portion of healthcare costs continues to be a concern
    for many consumers

    • Cost is a factor when selecting a physician (79 percent say yes)
      and a healthcare provider (81 percent say yes)
    • Healthcare is an expense that requires financing of more than 12
      months (91 percent say yes)
    • One out of every three consumers will delay care if a loan program
      isn’t available
  • Satisfaction with the ClearBalance Patient Experience Center and the
    patient payment portal remains high

    • Nearly half of the respondents have called the Patient Experience
      Center; of those individuals, 95 percent were very satisfied with
      the Patient Experience Center representative and 94 percent were
      able to resolve their question and/or pay their bill
    • Eighty-eight percent of respondents use the patient portal; of
      those, 97% say the portal is easy to use and helpful to manage
      their account

“The findings from this study support what we see day in and day out:
There is absolutely a demand for affordable healthcare financing,” Haupt
says. “The quality of care a patient receives is expected to be high,
but now what is also expected is a way to make that care affordable.”

About ClearBalance

ClearBalance partners with health systems to provide consumer-centric
affordable care while improving net recovery of patient pay and overall
financial performance. We have served more than 4 million patient
accounts and maintain the industry’s highest patient loan repayment
rate. Our program enables patients to easily pay their medical costs and
engenders loyalty, positioning the health system as the care location of
choice in its community. The ClearBalance
ROI Value Model
™, Peer Reviewed by HFMA, establishes nationally
recognized patient loan program performance standards to benefit health
systems and their patients.


Laurie Heavey
VP, Product & Strategic Marketing