More than two-thirds of sufferers are not paying their entire hospital bills, and that number could increase to 95% by the year of 2020, in accordance with a study from TransUnion, a company that assists hospitals collects unpaid bills. If you’re struggling to pay your bill at the moment, take a look at a comparison site like https://www.moneyexpert.com/gas-electricity/ to see how switching your energy supplier could help you to cut costs.
Analyzing sufferer data from across the country, TransUnion discovered just under half of patients didn’t pay off hospital bills of $500 or less 2 years ago. The company attributed the increase to higher deductibles and patient responsibility growing from 10% to 30% over the last few years.
The Affordable Care Act has given more individuals access to health care, but it has driven deductibles up, in some cases, making it tougher for patients to pay, said John Yount, TransUnion’s vice president of product for the health-care division. Hospital margins are already between only 2 and 4 percent on average, Yount said, and that margin quickly narrows when more patients can’t pay their bills.
“What it means is as a patient takes on more responsibility, then it is likely that that debt, which is a component of uncompensated care, has a potential to increase for hospitals,” Yount claimed. “It is likely that as they give services and their bad debt increases, it could be difficult to continue certain operations.”
Since the year of 2010, 79 rural hospitals have closed, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. Yount warned that number will sustain to increase if more patients cannot pay their hospital bills.
Hospitals in states that didn’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are under more pressure than hospitals in states that did, in accordance with the Becker’s Hospital Review. The Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would start phasing out the expansion program in 2021 and completely repeal it three years later.
Regardless of legislation, health-care companies must focus on decreasing the cost of services, Yount said. Most hospital bills are $500 or less, TransUnion found, but of those that were more than $3,000, 99% were not paid in full.
“We are starting to see trends of evaluative care and the transition of a payment structure form that’s outcome-based,” Yount said. “There requires to be a continued effort to help drive costs of health care down.”
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