Weekend Reading: September 23, 2022

As patients continue to shoulder a higher portion of healthcare costs, hospitals and health systems are facing considerable challenges collecting payments due. We’ve seen quite a few different perspectives these past few weeks on issues surrounding medical debt, linked below.

From InsideSources, an article focused on medical debt legislation as a potential solution to the country’s leading cause of bankruptcy, as American’s owe more than $140-Billion in past-due medical bills.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an interesting report earlier this year focused on medical billing and the more than $88-Billion of medical bills they indicate are ‘contaminating’ credit reports.

The rate of chronic disease in the United States continues to increase, as more than 6 in 10 Americans are living with one or more chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, according to the CDC. In this article from Revenue Cycle Intelligence, a new study highlights how medical debt is increasing in tandem with the increases in chronic illness.

While recent legislation including the CARES Act has increased the number of Americans with medical coverage, the combination of high deductible plans and co-insurance payments is a cause of increasing bad debt for providers. Modern Healthcare recently reported that insured patients with bad debts have now eclipsed the uninsured.

Collecting balances from patients has long been a struggle for hospitals and health systems; this article from Health Leaders Media suggests that balances over $7,500 have a low likelihood of being repaid.