One county, two hospital systems, two very different ways of collecting debt. That's the conclusion of USA Today, which examined patient debt lawsuits filed in Greene County, Missouri. It discovered that CoxHealth in Springfield and Mercy Health in Chesterfield--both not-for-profit providers--are worlds apart in aggressively pursuing patient debt.
The Cleveland Clinic reports its charity care expenditures are down significantly, from $101 million last year from $171 million in 2013.
The proliferation of high-deductible health plans has not only caused hardship for patients, but has added a difficult layer of administrative and financial burden for physician practices and ambulatory surgery centers, according to an arti cle from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Many physicians and medical groups are aggressive in the way they collect debts from their patients, who also struggle with rising out-of-pocket costs, Kaiser Health News reported.
The two-hospital Singing River Health System, which serves the tiny Mississippi communities of Pascagoula and Ocean Springs, has an outsized amount of uncollected patient debt: $88 million.
Many patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act carry policies with high deductibles, which brings upfront collections and price transparency issues center stage.
U.S. hospitals provided $45.9 billion in uncompensated care in 2012, according to the American Hospital Association, which published data on uncompensated care costs from hospitals across the country.
Hospitals and physician groups--expecting a rise in the number of patients with high-deductible health insurance plans--are coming up with strategies to ensure they receive payment f or providing services for scheduled or elective surgeries. Among the most popular options: Collecting cash upfront and enrolling patients in payment plans, accordi ng to the Chicago Tribune.
Bad debt expenses for for-profit hospitals, which grew considerably during the Great Recession, have not receded during the economic recovery and Fitch Ratings Service isn't sure the Affordable Care Act will make much of a difference.
The growing popularity of high-deductible insurance plans is leaving more hospitals stuck with unpaid bills, Kaiser Health News reported.