Patients having surgery at A Personal Choice can pay for surgery in three different ways:
1. Pay directly with credit card, bank wire, or cashier’s check
2. Finance surgery using United Medical Credit
3. Save for surgery with a Reversal Prepayment Account
Last year we closed our ‘old’ prepayment account and started a ‘new’ Reversal Prepayment Account.
Our Reversal Prepayment Account (RPA) allows patients to save towards surgery and get reversal surgery discounts when available. Our RPA is now one-year old and has been a big success for our patients!
To celebrate our RPA’s one-year anniversary, we thought we would provide a complete review of the history of our prepayment account and explain common questions often asked by those who want to open an RPA.
History of our prepayment account
In the early 2000’s, we were frustrated by the high interest rates finance companies were charging to finance surgery. Many had interest rates as high as 20%! This is when we started offering a prepayment account to help patients avoid high financing interest rates. This was our ‘old’ prepayment account.
The ‘older’ prepayment account allowed patients to save for surgery. This was a great idea but we then found people were opening accounts, contributing small amounts, and we would never hear from them again! Many times we would not be able to reach them.
This was a big problem because we have a professional obligation to be responsible for the money contributed by account holders. It was not our money…it was theirs! Also accounting for this money took a lot of work on our part.
To make these accounts easier to manage, we closed our ‘old’ prepayment account in 2014 and created a ‘new’ Reversal Prepayment Account. RPAs have to be fully funded and surgery completed by 36 months (3 years) of being opened. Patients can save towards surgery and be eligible for reversal surgery discounts when available. If RPA members don’t have surgery by the end of 36 months, then their money is refunded to them less an administrative fee and a surgery scheduling fee.
The new RPA also allows patients the ability to get reversal surgery discounts when available!
Other ‘prepayment accounts’: Imitation is the highest form of flattery
We were the first reversal practice to offer a prepayment savings account. Other practices have since started offering these accounts in an effort to keep up with us.
Most reversal practices don’t offer prepayment accounts because these accounts require a lot of administrative work. Most reversal practices would prefer not to expend the effort required to account for contributions over time.
Some reversal practices have tried to imitate our prepayment account.
You can usually identify these practices because they have one or two sentences on their website describing the account but do not offer any significant details.
A few offices have made their accounts intimidating and more like car leases and less like savings accounts. These practices state you will lose all of your money and not have surgery if you miss a single, mandatory monthly payment. We personally believe these practices don’t want patients to start accounts. Instead, these practices are simply trying to keep up with us to maintain appearances of being as sophisticated as our practice.
We have tried to keep our RPA simple and straightforward. We want patients to benefit from these accounts but we also don’t want these accounts to be too burdensome for us to the point we have to stop offering them.
Benefits of an RPA
- Allows you to determine if you are a good candidate before you schedule surgery
- Allows you to save towards surgery and avoid the higher interest rates associated with financing
- Your surgery fee is locked in at the quoted price when you open your account
- Allows you to obtain reversal surgery discounts when discounts are available
More information: Starting a Reversal Prepayment Account
Once members are enrolled in the RPA, then we know they are serious about having surgery with us.
RPA members will receive an email at the beginning of every month letting them know about possible discounts. Reversal surgery discounts are only offered when available.
Only RPA members are offered reversal surgery discounts and RPA members will be notified via email by the first of every month.
Some months we have not offered reversal surgery discounts but most months we have. Discounts were offered at the beginning of the year and during the summer. We did offer RPA members $500 discount on surgery and $200 towards hotel stay during the month of September.
How an RPA works with A Personal Choice
Step 1. Complete prescheduling questionnaire and pay scheduling fee
We require RPA members to go through a lengthy prescheduling interview with a nurse to make sure they are healthy candidates for reversal surgery. Why is this important?
With our older prepayment account, patients started an account by sending money only.
On some occasions, they would contribute money over 5 years only to discover at the time of surgery scheduling they were not good candidates for surgery. This was not ideal.
Now we require plan members go through a prescheduling interview before they send money to make sure they will be good candidates before they start an account. This is helpful because we have identified problems in some patients. Early identification of these problems has allowed many to better prepare themselves for surgery and pregnancy as they are saving for surgery.
When you preschedule you will be asked to send a recent complete blood count (CBC) result to make sure you are not anemic. You may also be asked to complete other medical testing depending on your medical history.
The prescheduling process ensures you will be the best candidate for surgery before you start your RPA. It makes perfect sense!
More information: Paying scheduling fee and completing screening health interview
Step 2. Complete RPA contract and send initial contribution of $500
After you pay the scheduling fee and complete the health prescheduling phone interview our office will send you an RPA contract. The contract reviews basic RPA rules:
- RPA must be fully funded and surgery scheduled within 36 months
- Initial RPA contribution needs to be a minimum of $500
- Future contributions must be in increments of $100 or more
- You can close an RPA at any time and will be refunded all money less a $500 administration fee and less the $125 scheduling fee
You should not start an RPA unless you are committed to having tubal reversal at our center. You can have your money refunded at any time but if you close the account before having surgery, a $500 RPA administrative fee and the $125 scheduling fee are retained.
Step 3. Contribute to your RPA as you are able
You can contribute money as you are able but you are required to send a minimum of $100 when you contribute. We require your surgery be fully funded and scheduled by 36 months after opening your RPA.
Frequently Asked Questions About RPA?
1. How do you start an RPA?
Ideally we would like you to send your tubal ligation records if they are available (records are not required to start an RPA). We will provide a free review of your records to see if your tubal ligation is reversible.
Always call (919) 968-4656 and speak to a staff person if you have questions.
Complete the on-line prescheduling questionnaire:
Tubal Reversal Essure Reversal Prescheduling questionnaire
Vasectomy Reversal Prescheduling questionnaire
After completing one of the above questionnaires, then pay the $125 schedule fee on-line.
Pay scheduling fee with credit card
After paying the scheduling fee, a nurse will call you and complete a prescheduling phone interview. After the phone interview, the nurse will ask you to send the results of a recent blood count (CBC) and any other required testing. Most patients will only need a blood count and any recent blood count test result from your local doctor can be used.
After your test results have been received, our Business Office will send you an initial RPA contract. The RPA contract must be signed and returned with a minimum initial contribution of $500.
2. How much do I need to contribute?
Your initial contribution must be a minimum of $500 and needs to be sent with the signed RPA contract. Our Business Office will provide you with the RPA contract after you have completed your scheduling interview and our offices has received the required lab testing.
After this you can send any amount greater than $100 whenever you are able to contribute. When you send in additional contributions you need to complete the Prepayment form and send this form in with your RPA contribution: RPA Prepayment form
3. Does the $500 initial contribution go towards surgery?
Yes. The $500 initial amount does go towards your surgery.
4. Can I make contributions to the RPA on-line?
No. Currently you can only contribute to your RPA with a cashier’s check, money order, or bank wire.
5. Are there any penalties if I don’t schedule surgery?
Yes. If you don’t have surgery within 36 month or close your RPA before having surgery then our office retains a $500 administration fee.
6. How do I know when discounts are available?
Our office only notifies RPA members of reversal surgery discounts. This is done by email on the first of every month. Information about discounted rates will not be given over the phone.
7. Do you always offer discounts?
No. During the months we are very busy we may not have any reversal surgery discounts available. Most months we will offer discounts of different amounts for specific days where there are openings. Discounts are offered when surgery spaces are available at the last minute or if someone cancels or during slower times of the year.
8. How much of a discount can I expect?
Reversal surgery discounts have ranged from $250 to $1,500. We will occasionally contribute towards hotel expenses.
9. What if I don’t have my surgery after 3 years?
If you don’t have your surgery by 36 months you will be notified and you will be refunded your money less the $500 administrative fee and less the $125 scheduling fee.
10. Can I withdraw money from my account?
No. The account is for the sole purpose of saving for reversal surgery and cannot be used like a bank savings account. If you would like to be able to withdraw money from your account as needed then we encourage you to open a savings account with your local bank.
11. Can I be an RPA member and also finance surgery?
You can finance your surgery and many RPA members do choose to finance surgery. Please be aware financing is done through United Medical Credit.
If you finance surgery then we also charge patients a $500 financing administrative fee. This $500 financing fee cannot be financed and must be paid directly by the patient.
More information about financing: Financing reversal surgery
United Medical Credit offers patients a great loan called the UMC Patient Direct Loan!
The UMC Patient Direct Loan is a direct loan to the patient. If the patient qualifies for a loan amount that is more than the surgery fee, then the extra loan money can be used to pay for travel related expenses! If you qualify for the UMC Patient Direct Loan then our office will waive the $500 financing fee because it is not financing.
Please be aware if you use the United Medical Provider Direct Loan to finance any portion of your surgery fee then you will be charged a $500 financing administrative fee.
If you receive a UMC Patient Direct Loan for the entire surgery amount then you will not be charged the $500 financing administration fee.