Collect now or pay later

Capturing patients’ growing out-of-pocket charges to avoid downstream consequences

Components of a successful collections strategy

Cost is arguably the biggest, most challenging issue plaguing the U.S. healthcare system. Every healthcare stakeholder – patients, providers, employers and insurers – is trying to rein in costs for various reasons. But spending continues to rise.

Healthcare expenditures account for nearly $0.18 of every dollar spent in the U.S. The $2.9 trillion (yes, trillion) Americans spend on healthcare already approaches $10,000 per person and is expected to account for 19.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product within the next decade.

As overall healthcare spending increases, so too does patients’ financial responsibility. Out-of-pocket spending grew 3.2 percent to $339.4 billion in 2013, or 12 percent of total national health expenditures. Meanwhile, hospitals and health systems go on providing care, gallantly carrying out their missions, sometimes giving away non-emergent services to people who can and should pay.

Healthcare organizations looking for ways to limit accounts receivable (A/R), avoid bad debt, overcome shrinking reimbursements and keep margins from dipping into the red (if they aren’t there already) find some solutions in patients’ pockets.

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