Buy Now, Pay Later Health: Keeping your practice accessible & profitable in today’s financial & digital climate

Buy Now, Pay Later Health: Keeping your practice accessible & profitable in today’s financial & digital climate

Supplied by HealthNow
4 minutes to Read
Steven Zinsli Hosted Content High res image
HealthNow chief executive Steven Zinsli

COVID has thrust New Zealand into a unique time of rapid health promotion where safeguarding our personal and community health is at the forefront of every media outlet. Despite this, up to 39% of New Zealanders continue to avoid visiting their GP when they have a genuine medical need due to one primary attribution: the upfront appointment fee.

With our retail sector already leveraging Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services to effectively bridge a financial gap and enable New Zealanders to purchase the products they want, HealthNow explored how BNPL could be used to help access the health services they need. The result is New Zealand’s first and only health-focused BNPL payment platform that removes the immediate financial constraints from health consumers, while also relieving the costly debt management burden away from medical practices.

The digital era has come a long way in helping both medical practices and solo practitioners work smarter, not harder. Practice management systems are seamlessly automating historically time-consuming manual tasks like taking patient bookings, managing appointment reminders and recall lists, and record keeping. The result is that clinics have improved their process consistency, streamlined their administrative tasks to save time and money, and enhanced their patient’s healthcare experience and satisfaction rates. When it comes to paying for services, however, HealthNow executive Steven Zinsli felt like the healthcare industry had fallen far behind and it was costing both consumers and practitioners.

“When people know that they need to see a doctor, but then decide not to go because they’re choosing between the power bill or the appointment, we know we have a big problem. The patient suffers, their family suffers, the cost of health skyrockets when they end up in hospital for putting their health on the backburner - and health providers aren’t given the opportunity to use their skills to do what they do best - provide health.” - Steven Zinsli

The standard requirement for full upfront health service payments is currently forcing between 24% and 39% of New Zealanders to neglect or delay accessing the medical care they need at least once within a twelve-month period. While community services cards help reduce the rate for low-income families, the $19.50 fee still leaves many struggling to afford the upfront expense, or falling into the 5% to 25% that fail to subsequently collect their prescription medication due to the copayment fee.

The outcome is detrimental to the wellbeing of patients, while posing a challenge to medical practices who are left with the burden of debt management by those who attend appointments but cannot pay their bill on the day. The administrative time involved in chasing payments, processing reconciliations or trying to manually manage installment payment plans is tedious and undesirable, adding up to negate the value of the original debt.

Buy Now, Pay Later

BNPL gives health consumers an alternate way to pay for their appointments and health consumables. Instead of paying the full cost upfront, buyers break their bill into multiple interest-free installments, over a maximum of six weeks. Medical providers get paid in full, on the day the services are rendered.

BNPL statistics from other sectors show promising results. Offering BNPL at the point of sale has seen a 30% increase in the likelihood to make a purchase, with an 80% repeat service rate. There is no additional credit card debt racking up interest or affecting credit scores, and healthcare accessibility remains independent from the cash available in transactional accounts.

HealthNow: A Win-Win For Doctors & Patients

Patient acquisition, retention and optimising the patient experience are consistent goals and challenges of medical practices. The HealthNow app and online platform support these goals by removing the financial accessibility barrier for new and existing patients, while providing an intuitive and patient-friendly interface that is easy to use.

Financial security for both practitioners and patients was instrumental to the process design for HealthNow. “Clinics will have smooth and predictable cash flow by being paid in full on the day, and patients don’t have to worry about paying more for looking after their health by turning to interest-laden credit cards or fee-based services” says Zinsli, reflecting on his goals for the platform as a former practitioner and clinic manager frustrated with financial accessibility barriers.

HealthNow is able to pay funds immediately to clinics due to backing by an international venture capital organisation and a local wholesale funding facilitator. Both investors saw the significant opportunity and need to make healthcare available to New Zealanders the moment it is needed, without taking food off the table of families. Unlike other BNPL services that remain heavily unregulated due to the industries they target, HealthNow meets a higher level of compliance to ensure it operates with social responsibility in the healthcare sector.

With 60% of those surveyed by HealthNow already having used a BNPL service, 98% considering healthcare an unplanned “surprise expense” and 100% wanting the option of spreading their healthcare costs if they need to, HealthNow is currently being rolled out across the country with rapid uptake by wellness services, pharmacies and clinics ranging from medical centres to physios and dietitians.

HealthNow Benefits

Get Paid Anywhere, Anytime

HealthNow offers seamless, contactless and fully secure payments regardless of whether you’re operating within a large clinic, a remote clinic, offering home visits or managing telehealth consultations.

Improve Your Bottom Line

Get paid in full on the same day for every product or service rendered, without exhausting your administrative time or repeatedly chasing payments.

Full Versatility

Patients choose the payment method that best reflects their circumstances on the day - whether that’s paying in full, or splitting the payments over up to six weeks.

Better Health For All

Accessing diagnostics and treatment earlier and without stressing about the immediate availability of funds promotes improved health outcomes for all.

Health Wallet & Employer Aid

Patients can utilise funds contributed by themselves, their families or their employers to pay for your services directly from their HealthNow wallet.

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Contact: Steven Zinsli 02102398361