A new study by TransUnion revealed patient payment responsibility increased 11% in 2017. Of all patient out-of-pocket costs per visit 39% were over $500. When you combine this new information together with the findings from the Federal Reserve Economic Report – 35% of adults would be unable to make all of their other bill payments in full if faced with a $400 emergency.
All of their other bills. Healthcare providers certainly don’t want to put their patients in this situation, but the core problem is patients view their deductible as an “emergency” as opposed to a planned or expected expense. Unfortunately the problem is showing no signs of slowing down. Healthcare providers typically increase costs across the board to cover the portion of these patient payments that are delayed or go unpaid.
Instead of increasing costs for all payers, healthcare providers should provide flexible financing options to help patients budget for these patient payment responsibility increases instead of hitting the panic button when they receive the bill.