According to “The Digital Care Connection,” a report by PYMNTS, the ability of patients to pay for their care often has a very real impact on their continuation of treatment.
Get the report: The digital care connection
Insurance is a crucial factor influencing patients’ ability to receive care. The PYMNTS study found that while nearly 15% of insured consumers accessed mental health services in the past year, only 6% of uninsured consumers did the same.
The magnitude of this gap highlights how critical insurance coverage can be.
Unfortunately, having insurance is not a miracle solution. For example, policies may not cover all bills, or patients’ favorite mental health professionals may not accept their policies.
A solution to high one-time costs is the installment payment model. Although it has grown in popularity for retail purchases, many patients are unaware that similar interest-free payment plans may be available for their healthcare expenses.
In fact, this lack of awareness is common: PYMNTS data shows that 47% of consumers are “not sure” or “don’t know” whether they can pay for mental health services with payment plans.
Only 31% of patients are aware and know for sure that their mental health care providers offer payment plans – and more than half of these patients have used these financial solutions.
The relatively high uptake and demand rates confirm what many would suspect: patients feel more comfortable accessing healthcare when they know the process is flexible.
Patients’ ignorance that payment plans may be available for their healthcare expenses is a significant barrier to care, as the threat of high costs can discourage those attempting to connect with mental health practitioners.
Education about payment options is therefore paramount.