Economic Definition of third-party payment. Defined.
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Term third-party payment Definition: Payments made on behalf of one person (party) to a second person (party) by a third person (party) for benefits received by the first person (party). Eliminating the person (party) language, these sorts of payments are a standard method of buying health care. Insurance companies and the government pay doctors for the medical care received by patients. Problems arise because the party with the check book (insurance companies and government) aren't getting any of the benefits, while the party getting the benefits (patients) don't have to be concerned about payment. As such, third-party payments give patients an incentive to buy too much health care.