A credit bureau will be selling hospitals a new tool for helping patients pay their bills.

TransUnion Inc., Chicago, says it will be marketing the CarePayment program from Aequitas Capital Management Inc., Portland, Ore., through its hospital Revenue Manager program.

Hospitals can use the program to offer any patient with a valid Social Security number access to an automated, no-application payment card system.

The system checks to see whether patients are eligible for assistance programs and then arranges for them to be billed, either for $25 per month or for 4% of the highest balance, whichever is greater, TransUnion says.