Holland Hospital: Combining Hospital and Physician Practice Balances Into One Payment Plan

Holland Hospital, located in the west Michigan lakeshore region, began working with HELP in 2018. Leaders found that patients were having trouble with their internal repayment guidelines, and wanted to move away from patient financing and the extended A/R that came with it.

“We were looking for an option that most patients could qualify for without any sort of vetting or credit process, and that we could extend across multiple entities—not just at our hospital but our physician practices as well,” said director of billing and collections Molly Hanson.

Holland Hospital partnered with HELP based on their reputation, their user-friendly website that patients could use to set up payment plans, and their ability to offer combined payment plans across care settings. Patients could then make one payment in one place, even if they owed balances to the hospital and physician practices. Holland Hospital maintains an internal plan for patients who can pay at least $50 a month, and can resolve their bill in 12 months. Patients who can’t are referred to HELP for a payment plan that is interest-free for the first 12 months.

To ensure a smooth implementation of the new financing option, HELP assisted in training Holland Hospital’s customer service team.

“HELP was very flexible on what kind of training sessions they could set up,” Hanson said. “They offered to train in person, or via teleconference. They were very flexible with accommodating whatever we needed in regard to training. That was painless.”

In just over one year, HELP has funded $3.3 million in payment plans, or 1.53% of Holland Hospital’s net patient revenue. In that time, the recourse rate has been 0.3%. Patients have been so satisfied with the HELP program that as of mid-2019 about 15% of the hospital’s self-pay A/R is financed through HELP—and that percentage is increasing.

“We’ve seen more and more patients signing up for this option,” Hanson said. “If you have a solid plan for rolling it out, and it’s reasonable, portable, and appealing, then patients will definitely come on board.”