It was announced today that Breez Health, formerly known as Hospital Financial Assistance (HFA), is joining the Goodroot community of companies. Goodroot and affiliate businesses are dedicated to reinventing healthcare one system at a time. Breez Health partners with hospitals to make it easy for patients to access and navigate their hospital’s financial assistance program online.
“I first became aware of Goodroot through social media,” says Nick McLaughlin, the founder and CEO of Breez. “I saw Mike Waterbury writing and speaking about leaning into the medical debt crisis and confronting the problems that are plaguing the healthcare industry. That led to a larger conversation about Goodroot’s mission and approach to building and growing innovative businesses solving the broken systems in healthcare, and I knew this was a community that would help me bring this solution to more hospitals and patients across the country.”
McLaughlin spent over a decade working in hospital billing and revenue cycles before founding his company in January 2021. His business grew rapidly, currently working with 16 hospitals in three states. Medical debt is the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy for Americans. A collaborative approach that allows hospitals to serve their communities and patients to receive the care they need, while not being dragged into debt in the process, is crucial to solve this problem.
“Hospitals are faced with staffing shortages and budgetary concerns on a perpetual basis,” McLaughlin says. “Treating patients is unquestionably a hospital’s top priority, but offering an effective financial assistance program to bolster the community it serves should not be overlooked or undervalued. It allows more people to seek the care they need while being financially beneficial for both the hospital and the patient.”
Hospital financial assistance programs are not just for the unemployed and uninsured. Most hospital programs offer discounts for patients who are underinsured — meaning they have insurance but their deductibles, copays and coinsurance amounts are still more than they can afford to pay. Programs may also include households with incomes four to six times the federal poverty level. Bottom line, there’s a large portion of the population that qualifies for assistance that is simply unaware of it.
Breez empowers hospitals to simplify their process and improve accessibility to these programs. This not only relieves qualifying patients of the debt burden, but it results in improved patient engagement and healthier community members that proactively seek out care. Additionally, through this process Breez helps hospitals uncover potential third-party reimbursement opportunities, save staff time by streamlining FAP processes and reduce billing waste. An effective FAP program ultimately improves the financial results, drives more utilization and positively impacts a hospital’s brand.
Goodroot provides an infrastructure of industry experts, business acumen and support to its affiliate companies, which each address chronic problems that create waste and unsustainable rising costs in healthcare. Breez has already been able to quickly scale its business model, adding staff and stepping up its outreach to the nearly 3,000 nonprofit hospitals nationwide.
“Well over half the patients who get admitted to the hospital qualify for some type of financial assistance,” says Waterbury, CEO of Goodroot. “Yet as a nation we have over $140B in medical debt in collections. Many people simply don’t know that financial assistance programs even exist or understand that a broader spectrum of people may qualify. Nick has made amazing progress in such a short amount of time. This partnership will only add fuel to the fire.”
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