For healthcare providers, it is not only frustrating if patients fail to pay the amounts they owe for a treatment received, it is also a significant revenue problem. And, if it is allowed to continue, it could damage the financial health of the practice irreparably. However, for many patients, the problem of paying their bills can appear to be insurmountable, especially with higher deductibles and lower levels of insurance coverage. Therefore, gaining a greater insight into why patients are unable to make payments and what can be done to help avoid bad debt for the practice is essential for healthcare organizations that want to maximize the amount of money they can recoup. It appears that better post-care patient payment solutions could possibly be the answer to the dilemma.
A More In-Depth Look at Medical Debt in The U.S.
A recent study from Harvard University showed that, currently, medical debts are the top cause of bankruptcy in the United States, with medical bills accounting for around 62 percent of personal bankruptcies. Over a quarter of all adults in the United States between the ages of 18 and 64 had difficulty paying their medical bills last year, and this number rises to 53 percent for those who have no medical insurance. Why are so many patients struggling to make their payments?
The Reasons Behind Medical Debt
There are a few reasons why so many Americans are struggling to pay their outstanding sums for treatment received.
- Timing – Often medical bills come unexpectedly, and this is a key reason why so many people struggle to pay. When planning a vacation or to buy a new car, it is possible to make plans and save up. However, in the event of an unexpected medical problem, the cost of unplanned treatment will hit patients hard.
- Multiple costs – When a patient requires procedures, he or she often sees multiple doctors and then faces several medical bills. The problems continue to mount up as the costs rise, and since they come from a range of service providers, the patient rapidly becomes overwhelmed and finds it difficult to stay on top of his or her payments.
- The cost of bills – Unfortunately, medical bills are becoming increasingly expensive, and with patients now being expected to cover a larger portion of their costs, it’s no wonder so many are finding it difficult to meet their payments.
Billing mistakes – It has been estimated that around 80 percent of medical bills have at least one error and this can lead to patients stalling while they try to work out whether the charges are accurate.
A Better Patient Payment Solution
It seems clear a system needs to be put in place if a large amount of the healthcare provider’s revenue remains uncollected. BillingTree offers the ideal answer. With a high-quality patient payment platform, including point-of-care to post-care solutions to assist the patient throughout the entire payment/collection process and improve the providers overall revenue cycle management system, BillingTree’s healthcare payment solutions ensure practices receive more of the money they are owed for maximum revenue and better cash flow while patients enjoy the convenience of more streamlined payment options and a greater choice of payment methods to suit their needs. By allowing patients to access payment portals at any time of the day or night and to use ACH payments, credit or debit cards, or FSA and HSA payments, BillingTree’s patient payment solutions also enable patients with large outstanding balances to set up long-term payment plans so they can make regular, recurring payments over a number of months or years without the healthcare provider having to expend excessive time,effort and FTE hours focused on payments, and without patients having to stay on top of a complex payment schedule. We Do Payments so that…You Can Do Healthcare.