Doctors are widely perceived as having comfortable, lavish lifestyles but this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in 2017. The cost of running a medical practice is extremely high but doctors must often wait months to be paid in full for their services. As if these two dilemmas weren’t frustrating enough, recent reports have shown that the relationships between doctors and patients as well as insurance providers have only grown more complicated, and solving these problems comes with a price.
Inconvenient payment systems and the constant build-up of accounts receivables make it increasingly difficult for doctors to foot the bill on their own. This is where alternative business lenders like United Capital Source enter the picture. Medical practice loans are the solution for the countless practitioners looking to adapt to their increasingly competitive landscape, where delinquent payments cannot compromise customer service.
Here are three reasons why small business loans will be a vital tool for doctors in 2017:
1. The Takeover of High-Deductible Plans
High deductible plans put more responsibility on the patient, many of whom are used to copayments as low as a few dollars. But according to eVisit.com, the average copayment for an office visit is around $110. Some plans even force patients to cover the entire costs of expensive procedures, such as an MRI. Patients, however, don’t usually make copayments on the same day as their appointments. In fact, data accumulated by the MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) states that 30% of patients walk out of medical practices without handling copayments. This is very alarming for doctors because they used to live off insurance reimbursement and must now depend on patients.
The practice is then tasked with chasing down patients for their cash since delinquent accounts reportedly depreciate at a rate of 5% every day. This process could easily last well over 100 days, which isn’t much of a surprise considering it took at least a couple of billing statements to get a patient to pay in full when copayments were as low as $5. Medical practices could probably be a lot more aggressive when it comes to obtaining payments if it wasn’t for the next item on this list.
2. Competing With Retail Clinics/Urgent Care Providers
It is perfectly acceptable for a cell phone service provider to start sending letters and calling customers not long after a bill is past due. Medical practices, on the other hand, have been known to only send one billing statement a month and only begin making phone calls 90 days after an appointment. A possible explanation is the competition from retail health clinics and urgent care providers, which thrive on customer experience. They don’t need to chase down patients in order to afford rent, bills, payroll, etc. If a patient is having payment issues with a practice, he or she might be tempted to turn to a clinic that offers immediate access, more hours and a far less demanding payment system. You will rarely hear a patient of an urgent care clinic voicing payment-related frustrations.
3. Rising Expenses For Improvements
Medical practices are typically located in high-priced rental properties which, like every other property, are now more expensive. Then there’s the cost of all this new technology used to maintain medical records and keep track of delinquent payments. But reimbursement rates have remained stagnant, making it even more difficult for doctors to meet the rising costs of payroll or renting equipment. Doctors are apparently getting paid just as much as they were for their services several years ago despite the increasing expenses that have been placed upon them.
What Happens When Doctors Need Money Now?
The build-up of delinquent payments renders medical practices cash-poor when faced with expenses that must be handled immediately. Examples include new equipment, new staff members, and new furniture. Doctors cannot wait until they receive full payments from patients to keep their practices fully stocked and in top-shape. This is why United Capital Source specializes in medical practice loans for practices waiting on insurance payments or other accounts receivables. Banks take months to approve loans but UCS quick application process allows approval to be granted in 24-48 hours. Terms for UCS funding programs are also highly-flexible, meaning payments can be adjusted based on the time frames for reimbursements along with seasonality. Like most businesses, medical practices experience dips in revenue during certain times of the year, and UCS does not intend to let monthly payments jeopardize cash flow even further.
Another major advantage of business loans for medical practices is that they save doctors from having to spend precious time and energy figuring out how to get patients to pay them accordingly. When a doctor doesn’t have to worry about payments coming in, he or she can focus entirely on helping others. There’s little chance of a patient leaving a practice if customer service doesn’t suffer as a result of payment issues.
No One Is More Qualified Than UCS
Among UCS’s proudest clients is the owner of a veterinary clinic in Long Island, New York. Frustrated with his previous credit card processing company, the vet was blown away by how easy it was for UCS to take over and simplify his monthly payments. He was able to receive funding in a matter of days and increase cash flow without the tedious back-and-forth process associated with other business lenders. UCS can make your problems with payroll or renting equipment disappear as well, no matter how small your practice is. We understand how busy doctors are and are dedicated to eliminating any unnecessary financial frustrations you might face!