Blog | January 17, 2022

Patient Financial Responsibility and Why Hospital Bills Aren’t Paid

hospital provider meeting about patient financial responsibility with glass windows

In an era where healthcare costs continue to rise, patient financial responsibility becomes an increasingly pressing issue. Many individuals face significant challenges in managing their medical expenses, which often leads to delayed or even forgone care. In this article, we explore the critical issue of patient financial responsibility. Additionally, we present CarePayment as a viable solution.

CarePayment serves as a patient financing program designed to alleviate the burden of healthcare costs by offering affordable and manageable payment options. By providing patients with greater financial flexibility, CarePayment aims to improve access to care and alleviate the stress associated with medical bills.

Why More than Half of Hospital Bills Don’t Get Paid

Hospitals cannot collect 65 cents for every dollar billed to a patient, according to USA Today. With the rise of high deductible health plans, patients carry a great financial responsibility. Outdated billing practices also impact a hospital’s ability to collect payments. Experts suggest healthcare providers must enhance their billing methods to become more transparent. Likewise, patients must begin setting money aside to afford future healthcare expenses.

Medical Bills Still Take a Big Toll, Even With Insurance

NPR illustrates the impact medical bills have on people’s lives, even if they have insurance. A married couple filed for bankruptcy because they couldn’t afford their ever-increasing medical bills. The couple had a high deductible health plan that included a $700 premium and a $5,000 deductible. A woman who pays $147 a month for her Medicare, found she needed to skip necessary medication simply because she couldn’t afford the prescription. These two stories are not the first nor the last; in fact, 17 percent of Americans struggle to pay their medical bills. A NPR poll found 26 percent of its respondents stated healthcare expenses impacted their family’s finances tremendously. Of those respondents, seven percent had filed for bankruptcy.

Sanders Says High Premiums, Deductibles Diminish Impact of ACA

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the last Democratic debate, stating the high premiums and deductibles associated with insurance are diminishing the impact of the law. Sanders wants to replace the ACA with a Medicare-for-all program; demonstrating true universal coverage. The Vermont Senator recently won the Michigan primary, beating front-runner Hillary Clinton.

10 Things to Know about Healthcare Collections & Patient Financial Responsibility

Becker’s Hospital Review lists ten facts to know about healthcare collections and how patient financial responsibility will impact the collection process. For instance, in 2014 only 34 percent of hospital patients were able to pay the full amount requested upfront, while 58 percent of physician patients were able to do the same. In the last 16 years, cost of uncompensated care has grown to more than $502 billion since 2000. Because patients are expecting to shoulder more financial responsibility for their healthcare services, collecting at the point of service is becoming a main focus for all healthcare providers.