Document Detail

Giving credit where money is due. How to get a charge out of patients.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10292845     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It took a while, but hospitals are finally catching on to what major retailers discovered more than 30 years ago: Americans love to charge. When presented with a bill for socks at Bloomingdale's or lunch at Lutece, they pull out the plastic. Now, many can do roughly the same thing when presented with a hospital bill for treatment of a herniated disk. To shore up financial reserves, reduce bad debt, and increase cash flow, hospitals are turning to revolving consumer credit plans to help patients pay the self-pay portions of their hospital bills. Consumers like it because it gives them an affordable monthly payment over a long term, a good credit report reference, and a means to satisfy the self-pay obligation in a dignified, responsible way. And it seems to be working. A study of a 43-hospital chain that used a revolving charge plan for patients for a 23-month period showed that finance charges to patients more than covered the cost of the program; bad debts for receivables financed were cut to 29 percent, a 44.2 percent reduction; and consumers accepted the program because it was familiar, legal, binding, and, most important, affordable.
S M Wagner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health progress (Saint Louis, Mo.)     Volume:  70     ISSN:  0882-1577     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Prog     Publication Date:  1989 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-06-16     Completed Date:  1989-06-16     Revised Date:  2000-12-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8500263     Medline TA:  Health Prog     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  62-3     Citation Subset:  H    
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MeSH Terms
Accounting / methods*
Financial Management / methods*
Financial Management, Hospital / methods*
Patient Credit and Collection / methods*
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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