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Phreesia unveils payment plan app

Mike Miliard, Editor, Healthcare IT News

Phreesia, which specializes in patient check-in technology, showcased its new Payment Scheduler at HIMSS11 on Wednesday. It will enable physician practices to offer payment plans for patients at check-in and check-out, helping ensure that doctors get paid on time and in full.
Phreesia execs say it's the first company to offer patients the ability to choose a payment plan while checking in at their physician's office. As they check in on the PhreesiaPad device, those patients carrying a balance will be presented with plan options, predetermined by the practice.

Patients can choose the payment amount and frequency that makes sense for them and their budgets, and pay directly on the PhreesiaPad with a credit or debit card. Pre-authorized payments will be automatically charged and deposited into the practice's account each month for the duration of the plan.
"By listening to practice managers, we found there was a market need to offer patients a flexible, more convenient way to make their healthcare payments without increasing the burden on the practice staff," said Chaim Indig, Phreesia's CEO and co-founder. "Starting this spring, Phreesia will meet this need."
The self-pay capability lets patients pay their copays and outstanding balances using an integrated card swipe on the PhreesiaPad. Since adding the capability this past year, clients using payment services with Phreesia have seen a 10 percent average increase in collections.
A quarter of medical practice revenue comes directly from patients, according to industry studies, and the proportion is growing. Patients now pay more than employers in healthcare costs, including non-covered services and out-of-pocket expenses. The latter category is the fastest-growing portion of unpaid debt, yet surveys suggest that 92 percent of insured consumers are both able and willing to pay.