What Hinders Patients from Settling Their Medical Expenses?

by James William
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There are several factors contributing to patients’ challenges in paying their medical bills.

Are you grappling with financial losses in your healthcare practice due to unpaid medical bills, despite your best efforts? If so, consider enlisting the services of a healthcare debt collection agency. These agencies offer a suite of services aimed at streamlining your healthcare revenue cycle management. Their effectiveness in collections lies in their deep understanding of the barriers preventing patients from settling their medical bills. Below are some of the most common obstacles:

Unexpected Medical Expenses

It is a common misconception that individuals who can afford luxuries like smartphones or vacations should easily pay their medical bills. The reality is that such expenses are typically planned and budgeted for, while medical bills often emerge unexpectedly. Settling a hefty, unplanned medical bill can be significantly more challenging than saving for a future expense.

Exorbitant Medical Bills 

The cost of medical treatment can be prohibitively high for many patients. Even a $500 medical bill can pose a financial burden for the majority of Americans. Only a small fraction can pay such bills in full immediately, with most resorting to borrowing, using credit cards, or seeking loans to cover these expenses.

Multiple Medical Bills

When a patient faces an unforeseen illness or injury, especially if it necessitates care from multiple healthcare providers, the expenses can quickly escalate. For instance, a car accident victim may incur costs for ambulance services, X-rays, medications, surgery, and subsequent physical therapy. Coping with numerous, unexpected medical bills can create a substantial financial burden.

Existing Debt

Patients often juggle various financial obligations, such as mortgage payments, student loans, and previous medical debt. The typical American household carries substantial credit card debt, leaving minimal room in budgets for unforeseen medical costs. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, making it challenging to absorb sudden medical expenses.

Billing Errors and Complexity

Studies by healthcare advocacy organizations indicate that approximately 80% of all medical bills contain inaccuracies. Many patients may struggle to comprehend these bills and identify errors. Uncertainty about how to resolve discrepancies can lead to bill postponement. This is a prevalent reason for non-payment.

How Can This Information Enhance Payment Recovery Rates?

Many healthcare facilities assume that patients don’t pay due to a lack of willingness, often neglecting to facilitate the payment process. However, it is in your best interest to simplify payment procedures for your patients, as the majority genuinely intend to meet their financial obligations. Understanding the barriers to payment can guide the development of programs and processes that ease the burden on patients, encouraging them to settle their medical bills promptly.

Consider reaching out to a healthcare debt collection agency today!

Healthcare revenue cycle management outsourcing companies offer a wide range of services to streamline your revenue cycle management, including claims appeals, denial follow-ups, medical bill recovery, and A/R cleanup projects. Discover the value of these collection services by contacting the experts in the field.


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