AccessOne is a private debt financing company specializing in out-of-pocket healthcare costs. The South Carolina-based company markets itself as an “empathetic” alternative to traditional financing options, but some patients describe the operation as unscrupulous and predatory.
AccessOne was founded in 2002 by Russell Salton, a physician and former insurance company employee. The company is headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and has a second location in Springfield, Oregon. Their stated mission is to provide alternative billing to patients who can’t afford to pay out of pocket at the time of treatment—medical facilities contract with AccessOne to finance patient payment plans, promising a flexible low or no-interest arrangement.
From the AccessOne website, a banner promoting their “0%” interest rate plans.
However, complaints are mounting among patients and concerned physicians. AccessOne’s website boasts a 0% interest rate for patients regardless of their qualifications. The company does not run credit checks or discriminate based on income. Unfortunately, this 0% interest rate only applies if the patient pays off their account each month. An interest rate automatically kicks in if a payment is late or not paid in full.
Additionally, if a patient wants to make lower monthly payments, AccessOne will break up the installments further but attach an even higher interest rate. Complaints specifically reference some of the largest healthcare systems in North Carolina.
UNC Health is a not-for-profit medical system based in Chapel Hill and owned by the State of North Carolina. Millions of North Carolinians visit one of many UNC Health-affiliated facilities each year. In 2019, UNC Health began contracting with AccessOne, and as of 2022, more than 100,000 patients were enrolled in their payment plans.
Before AccessOne’s involvement, UNC Health did not charge interest on patient payment plans. In February 2020, 9% of UNC patients enrolled in an AccessOne payment plan were in a loan with the highest interest rate. Two years later, 46% of patients were paying the highest rate.
Atrium Health is a not-for-profit medical system headquartered in Charlotte. It employs more than 70,000 people and operates thousands of medical facilities in the metropolitan area. Atrium began contracting with AccessOne in 2014. As of the writing of this article, roughly half of the patients enrolled in an AccessOne plan at Atrium pay one of the highest interest loans at 13%.
Former employees on Glassdoor admit that products are geared towards the Finance market, as opposed to centering on patient care. Unsatisfied patients are taking to review websites such as the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
An example of a complaint against AccessOne submitted to the CFPB website.
Specifically, complainants are reporting:
- Inappropriate late fees
- Coercive collection tactics
- Inaccurately reflecting debts
- Deceptive marketing
- Inadequate customer support
Currently, there are no lawsuits open against AccessOne. However, as AccessOne continues to spread across the state and nation, more and more consumers are taking their concerns online. Our firm will continue to investigate and encourage anyone who may have had consumer rights violated to reach out to us immediately.
AccessOne styles itself as a revolutionary financier in medicine. They claim compassion is their strong suit, but online reviewers discredit their supposed “do no harm” philosophy. If you believe your rights as a consumer were violated by AccessOne or any other financial institution, contact our office. Call (919) 526-0450 or send a message through our contact page to speak with our intake team.