SAN DIEGO, Sept. 19, 2014 – ClearBalance®, the leading provider of consumer-friendly patient loan programs to U.S. hospitals and health systems, is expanding its operations locally and nationally, further positioning to address an increase in demand from both existing and new health system clients. ClearBalance recently expanded its San Diego office by over 20% to accommodate growth of its Patient Experience Center. This department helps patients manage their loan payments. During the past year, the company also added to its sales and operations teams, and now has regional presence in Georgia, Texas, Florida, Missouri and Montana.
ClearBalance’s growth is partly due to the increase in high deductible health plans (HDHPs), which shift greater payment responsibility to the consumer. This, in turn, shifts the risk of collections to the health system. Enrollment in high deductible health plans has grown steadily, as consumers show a preference for lower premiums. While the lower premiums may be financially manageable for consumers, the deductibles are not. “High deductible plans are putting financial stress on consumers and healthcare providers alike,” explains Mitch Patridge, president and CEO of ClearBalance. “High deductible plans give Americans a ‘false sense of insurance’ and are leading to more patients who have difficulty managing their healthcare obligation.
“Patients oftentimes don’t realize the size of their financial obligation until after they receive their bill,” Patridge continues. “And many patients have trouble paying their balance in full, creating stress for the patient and the healthcare provider.”
As a result, more health systems are turning to the ClearBalance consumer-friendly patient loan program to give their patients an affordable option to repay their healthcare costs. In addition to increasing patient satisfaction with this offering, health systems benefit because they receive payment upfront from ClearBalance. Skilled professionals on the Patient Experience Center team understand that the patient’s experience – and impression – of a healthcare provider extends well beyond their discharge from the hospital.
“The patient’s experience with a healthcare provider is not solely tied to his or her clinical care,” Patridge says. “Ensuring patients have an affordable option and process to pay their obligations can directly impact patient satisfaction scores. We’re focused on not only increasing the provider’s net recovery, but, most importantly, enhancing the patient’s overall experience with the provider.”
ClearBalance clients include Palomar Health and Sharp HealthCare in San Diego as well as Novant Health in North Carolina, Texas Health Resources, St. Vincent Health in Indiana, HealthEast Care System in Minnesota, Florida Hospital and Virginia Mason in Washington.
ClearBalance is the leading provider of consumer-friendly patient loan programs to U.S. hospitals and health systems. Based in San Diego, ClearBalance has served more than 3.8 million patient accounts at hundreds of healthcare organizations nationwide since 1992. ClearBalance maintains the highest loan repayment rates in the industry. Our healthcare partners are able to significantly improve operating margins by increasing collections. They can also ensure a positive experience for patients who appreciate the ability to affordably repay their direct cost of health care.