Published on July 28, 2015

Hospital Adds Flexible Patient Financing Programs

0.00% APR payment plans adjust term lengths for higher patient-owed balances

NKCH has implemented a highly flexible patient financing program from CarePayment that allows patients to pay medical bills over time at 0.00% APR for the life of the account without any impact on patients’ credit scores. The payment program features term lengths of 6, 12 and 24 months based on patient-owed balances.

“We’ve seen a sharp increase in higher deductibles and co-pays in the past few years, and these larger medical bills are a financial hardship for many patients,” says Kelli Schroeder, manager of Patient Accounts for NKCH. “We wanted to offer a service that made care more affordable for our patients, and that’s exactly what CarePayment does. Rather than locking everyone into a single term length, CarePayment offers payment plans that fit patient balances without adding extra charges, interest or fees. Patients also can add more charges to their account and the term length will automatically adjust.”

Another key reason for NKCH’s decision to partner with CarePayment: CarePayment’s programs are compliant with the new Internal Revenue Service regulations regarding extraordinary collection actions, Schroeder says. Non-compliance with IRS 501(r) rules can lead to non-profit providers losing their tax-exempt status.

The rise in patient medical costs in North Kansas City and surrounding communities mirrors the trend sweeping the United States. More than 17 million people had high deductible plans in 2014, up from 1 million 10 years earlier, the Association for Health Insurance Plans reports. Nearly half, or 46%, of Americans say basic medical care costs are a hardship compared to 36% a year earlier, according to a December, 2014 New York Times/CBS News poll. With people paying a much greater share of their medical costs due to high deductibles and increasing premiums and co-pays, one in four admit skipping medication and 31% avoided needed treatment because they couldn’t pay for it.

“The growing healthcare affordability gap has serious consequences for people and their providers. North Kansas City Hospital is one of the leading healthcare providers that is stepping into the breach by offering payment programs that enable people to afford necessary care,” says CarePayment CEO Craig Hodges. “We are delighted to team up with North Kansas City Hospital to extend this financial lifeline to its patients and support its mission of caring for the health and well-being of the Northland community and beyond.”

A CarePayment account is a flexible open-end line of credit, not a credit card or loan. Patients can manage their accounts in a variety of ways, including automatic payments, mobile and online account access, and paper or electronic statements.

About North Kansas City Hospital

For more than half a century, North Kansas City Hospital has been the Northland’s preferred healthcare provider. NKCH is an acute-care facility with 451 licensed beds and 550 physicians representing 49 medical specialties. From a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, to award-winning cardiovascular and orthopedic programs, to home health and hospice, NKCH provides a lifetime of care. NKCH offers advanced treatment options, including world class cancer care through a partnership with the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated program. Through its Meritas Health subsidiary, North Kansas City Hospital offers a premier network of healthcare experts who provide patient care services for all aspects of life, including pregnancy and childbirth, pediatric and primary care, specialty and surgical care, and occupational and rehabilitation medicine. The hospital’s mission, vision and values reflect a strong commitment to the health and well-being of the Northland community and beyond. Last year, NKCH sponsored 50 charitable and community organizations and served more than 17,000 people through its dynamic Community Health & Wellness programs. And, it recently became the first hospital in Kansas City to offer zero-percent financing options to help patients manage their medical expenses.

About CarePayment

Headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, CarePayment is a patient financial engagement company that accelerates provider transition to the new consumer-driven healthcare market. Powered by advanced technology and analytics, our innovative patient financing solutions improve patient satisfaction and loyalty while delivering superior financial results. By partnering with healthcare providers to make affordable financial options available, CarePayment helps patients get the care they need, when they need it, while protecting the financial health of provider organizations so they can continue to offer valuable care to the community. The CarePayment 0.00% APR payment program is compliant with applicable state and federal consumer credit laws, requires no application, and is supported by a friendly US-based customer service staff. Accounts for the program are issued by WebBank of Salt Lake City, UT. Find more information at