The news: Top patient pain points when dealing with different aspects of their care process include difficulty acquiring and paying cost estimates, per a new Experian Health Digital Health survey of 2,333 consumers.
Why healthcare payment plans are important: Most US consumers are becoming accustomed to paying for retail services and products using buy now, pay later (BNPL) services like Klarna. That means it’s likely only a matter of time before they expect their healthcare providers to match their retail payment experiences.
The opportunity: Some digital health startups are recognizing the demand for accessible payment plans, and are already offering BNPL care models to boost patient satisfaction.
For example, In February, large health system Mercyhealth partnered with financial services company Synchrony to let patients pay for their care over a period of time using Synchrony’s healthcare credit card, CareCredit.
And Cedar partners with health systems to enable flexible payment options without tying eligibility to a credit card. Cedar’s platform lets health systems text reminders about patients’ healthcare bills, and also lets them set up a payment plan, for instance.
What’s next? Besides health systems, large retail players like CVS and Walgreens could begin deploying BNPL options for healthcare visits.
That’s because BNPL services would fit neatly into Walgreens’ and CVS’ overall healthcare strategy to make offerings more convenient and affordable for consumers.