Doctors are tired of the rising medical debts and turn to debt collectors. The rising medical debts have affected their practice in many ways which is another significant reason to believe that a debt consolidation loan is the best way to get rid of your medical debts along with others.
As it is almost all physicians, hospitals, private clinics and medical labs are struggling with the significant rise in high deductible insurance. They initially worried about those patients who did not have a proper health insurance wondering how they would be able to pay the bills. Now they also have to worry about those patients who are adequately insured due to the high deductibles and are often found scrambling to get paid.
It is over a decade that the insurers as well as the employers both have been shifting the cost of medical care to their customers and workers. This in turn has resulted in pushing down the premiums as such a practice raised the out of pocket expenses of the patients.
According to the government data of the last year, it is found that almost half of all privately insured Americans who are under the age of 65 had total annual deductibles amount ranging from $1,300 on the lower side to as high as $6,550.
Effects of the changing scenario
This changing scenario has also resulted in the change is the attitude and working process of the health care providers having to engage in errands that do not directly relate to their profession.
- Since they are now not getting paid on a more predictable schedule by the insurance companies, they have to multi task. One moment they are found removing a pre-cancerous tumor and in the next they are seen haranguing patients of their relatives to make the payment for what has become an increasing part of their total medical bill.
- Doctors and healthcare givers find that it is harder to get paid from the patient than the insurance companies, especially if the plans change to a higher deductible making it all the more difficult if not impossible for the patients to pay.
- It is also found from the report by Accenture Plc that independent physicians often cite the reimbursement pressures as one of their biggest concerns to stay in the business.
However, the patients and their families are not to be blamed for this situation completely. It is quite natural and human that when it comes to choosing between paying their house rent and the medical bill, house rent will definitely be preferred over the medical bills.
This obvious choice by the patients makes it very difficult for the doctors and physicians to survive no matter how good intent they have to work with their patients but they cannot do it for free because they still have to maintain their small business.
Lending a helping hand
In order to help the medical practice there are several ways implemented to help the patients in this regards. All these are useful sources to get money to pay your medical debts.
- To prevent the inevitable shrink in their practice, now almost all hospitals and private clinics have introduced flexible payment options and several other useful programs such as charity care.
- Add to that governments have also come up with several medical debt relive programs like the ones you will come across when you visit com.
- Apart from that, traditional banks and other financial institutions have also come up with specific loans to pay off the medical debts.
All these sources provide the patients with extensive and expensive plans to pay a larger part of their medical bills upfront if not in full. The loans provided thus is to be repaid to the lender on a monthly basis spread though a predetermined time limit that often ranges from 5 to 10 years depending on the size and type of the loan.
Several hospitals introduced a “time-out” option that allows the patients to have the billing codes before a treatment process. They can use this code to find out the estimates from the insurance companies by calling them up. However, even after the implementation of this program, collection rates have not increased as desired especially when the insurance plan deductibles are reset.
This effect is felt even by the large medical companies that operate on a national field. Though the uninsured patients have a high bad debt rate, people with insurance having coinsurance, greater and more expensive non-covered services and high deductibles often do not pay their bills.
The bleeding money
According to the report of North Well Healthcare Inc., more than 700 hospitals as well as outpatient facilities have lost more than one hundred million dollars to unpaid services.
The acute care and critical access hospitals were also found to have lost about half that amount in bad debt and both this data is supported by the data collected by the American Hospital Directory Inc.
This suggests that the high deductible plans have had a significant impact in the medical practice when it comes to reimbursement.
Another common factor that is worrying the health care industry is their archaic billing process that includes several stages and elements that needs to be reviewed such as:
- A web of medical records
- The billing systems
- The health insurers and
- The contractors.
To all these difficulties faced by the doctors and health care providers, the high deductibles only adds to the red tape. Moreover, these providers have to reach out to the insurance companies more frequently for estimates because they do not have real time or do not have the accurate information on patient deductibles fully. This fluctuates depending on the amount that has already been paid.
To deal with this situation and for proper reasoning in billing, medical facilities and doctors have to hire additional staff member who are qualified in this job which adds up to their already high operating cost.
All these issues and worries can be easily eliminated when patients opts for a medical debt consolidation. It will ensure payments to the doctors who can focus on their practice and treatment more.