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The Negative impact of Medical Credit Cards and Patient Interest Charges

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) launched an inquiry into high-cost specialty financial products, such as medical credit cards and installment loans, that are pushed on patients to pay for routine medical care, and which drive up health care costs and medical debt. The request for information builds on CFPB research on medical payment products and medical billing and collections, in addition to other actions by the CFPB and Federal agencies to relieve the burden of medical debt and collections practices. The three agencies seek information about the prevalence of these products, patients’ experiences with them, and health care providers’ incentives to offer these high-cost products to patients, which may include avoiding the insurance claims process and financial assistance programs. The CFPB will use public input as it considers ways to address the patient harms caused by these specialty financial products.

You can learn more about the inquiry below:

CFPB, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Department of Treasury Launch Inquiry into Costly Credit Cards and Loans Pushed on Patients for Health Care Costs | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (consumerfinance.gov) 

We are excited that our AHA Services’ endorsed business partner (AblePay) is the “antithesis” to the concerns highlighted above.  AblePay (based out of Allentown, PA) is addressing the affordability gap by helping patients with savings on out-of-pocket expenses (up to 13%), savings over time, or extended terms with 0% interest, while also providing advocacy services if a patient has a question on a bill.  Their solution is rapidly expanding across the country by helping both providers and their patients.  AblePay is significantly changing the financial landscape for providers and their patients, and we are excited to share case study results from a Pennsylvania-based system that utilizes the AblePay program.


Lehigh Valley Health Network Case Study: Changing Patient Payment Behavior with AblePay

The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) serves the citizens of the greater Lehigh Valley, and the system includes 13 hospitals, 320+ outpatient centers, 20,000+ employees, and $3.2B in annual revenue. LVHN chose AblePay’s unique program to increase their revenue on balance after insurance, decrease their cost of collections, while also enhancing the experience for their patients in the communities they serve.

The results of the LVHN case study with AblePay included:

  • 47.3% increase in collection rate compared to LVHN historical collection rate.
  • 43% increase in out-of-pocket revenue per patient.
  • 16.7% increase in additional revenue reported for AblePay patients at LVHN facilities.
  • Days to collect decreased from 97 days to 14 days for AblePay members.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 89 for LVHN patients that joined AblePay.

You can view a recent Becker’s Webinar below with both AblePay and the Lehigh Valley Health Network:

Becker’s Webinar: Addressing Patient Affordability on Vimeo

Please contact us if you would like to set up a review with the AblePay team to explore how they can help both you and your patients in the communities that you serve!