Part 2 of a 3-part series examining the implementation of Patient Pre-payment Practices,
the Paradigm Shift in A/R Management, Collection Challenges and Effective Solutions
According to a new report from health consultancy Deloitte out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for consumers reached $672 billion by 2012, and is expected to increase substantially.
Mark Edwards, owner of Credit Bureau Systems, Paducah, KY, which does billing and debt collection for 20 Kentucky hospitals, sees how much bad debt hospitals are accumulating. Edwards predicts that, “one day soon reimbursements will drop and more people will be on Obamacare. That will mean even more people will be asked to pay larger out-of-pocket costs. We haven't seen the worst of this yet."
Many hospitals, particularly those in urban and suburban settings, also are experiencing steep increases in uncompensated care. Three contributing factors:
Medicare & Medicaid pay less than cost
Medicare only reimbursed86 cents for every dollar spent on patient care.
Medicaid only reimbursed 89 cents for every dollar hospitals spent on patient care.
Over $413 billion in uncompensated care was provided by hospitals of all types since 2000. (AHA report)
In 2012, bad debt & charity care reached an all-time high: $45.9 billion…6.1% of the hospitals’ total operating expenses.
The bad debt figure may rise to $200 billion by 2019 if current trends continue. (Analysis of 2011 Medicare and Medicaid statistics.)
Government reimbursements to hospitals were $56 billion less than the hospital’s costs (in 2012)
A 300% increase in uncompensated care is projected over the next five years. (Deloitte report)
Expenses growing more rapidly than Revenue
Revenue growth & Cash flow Margins at an all-time low (3.9%)
Extremely tight Operating Margins
Sharply decreasing non-operating income (investments and endowments)
Substantial decline of Inpatient and Outpatient Volume
Obsolete Facilities and Equipment due to limited access to capital
25.1% of all Non-Profit Hospitals Operate at a Loss; (a 65%increase over the past five years
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