medical billing, healthcare, medical billing companies, physicians, HealthPocket, medical bills, healthcare industry, doctors, medical claims

Medical Billing – Over 50% Americans Can’t Afford To Go To The Doctor

The sorry state of affairs in the American medicare industry reflects the inability of many Americans to afford quality healthcare. Many can’t afford medical billing services despite having insurance. Obamacare premiums are making it difficult for them to continue with the payments.

Back in 2019, Obamacare was supposed to increase the rate of health insurers in America. Moreover, it is also meant to reduce healthcare costs relatively.

However, with the burden of increased taxes, it seems impossible to cut down major costs in healthcare expenditure. It has also become difficult for medical billing companies to help physicians earn more revenue.

Can’t Afford To Go To the Doctor – HealthPocket

A recent survey by HealthPocket revealed the difficulties that many Americans face. They have so many other expenses that they can’t afford to take out money for health insurance.

The survey results show that a lot of Americans can only afford $100.

Here are the results.

  • Around 52.5% say that they can only afford $100 or more.
  • Only 15.95% can afford $200 each month.
  • The number of Americans drops 11.6% who can pay $300 each month.
  • The percentage further reduces to 5.5% for $400 in health insurance deductible assistance.
  • Only 4.8% say they can set aside $500 each month.
  • Only one out of ten Americans or 9.8% say that they can give away $500 a month for health insurance.

The above stats resonated until 2017. In 2022, we have the following considerations.

The survey results show that more than 1/3 of Americans can’t afford a $100 medical bill.

Here are the results.

  • Around 37% of Americans could not pay a medical bill of $100.
  • 19% of people could not pay anything at all towards medical bills without incurring debt.
  • About 55% of the respondents had received a medical bill that they could not pay with available funds.
  • The percentage is further reduced to 5.5% for $400 in health insurance deductible assistance.
  • Only 4.8% say they can set aside $500 each month.

Medical Billing – A Difference of Perception

If you talk to someone who represents the health providers, you may not get a clearer picture of medical billing. However, if you talk to someone who is at the receiving end, you understand the underlying issues.

Here is how a medical billing advocate, Maureen Lamb explains the situation.

“If you are talking to someone who is sympathetic but unable to fix your errors or negotiate a discount, you are wasting your time. It may require unique approaches to break through the resistance. When phone calls, faxes, and emails don’t work, it’s time to write a letter documenting your request for a discounted bill, and request help from the management team of an organization.”

Crowdfund Provides Limited Relief

Many Americans are turning to other options. They consider crowdfunding as a way to get assistance. If they can’t afford to go to the doctor, they turn to crowdfunding. It may include relying on different options including business startups and charitable organizations. However, they only offer limited funds and many find it hard to meet their medical bills.

There is a long way to go before we can see these crowdfunding sources catching up to the medical needs of many Americans. However, their strong social presence does suggest a ray of hope for the future. These platforms rely on websites like Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks to get assistance.

We are hearing many success stories from charitable institutions helping troubled patients. Cassidy did come up with thousands of dollars for chemotherapy. However, she had to manage so many other expenses that it was becoming difficult for her to afford her medical bill. She was able to get some funds to get herself treated in the hospital. Such efforts show a strong community, willing to stand with each other and overcome the difficulties in paying medical bills.

Some Ways to Overcome the US Healthcare Problems

Here are some fixes that can help the struggling US healthcare industry.

  • Two-three years back, the NIH spending was at around $34 billion. However, it does not have the purchasing power which hurts the welfare of patients relying on medications. The increase in taxation on the pharma industry would help sort some of those issues out.  Here is what the CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has to say about NIH. “I believe they’re the crown jewel of the healthcare system. Glimcher says of the NIH. They train the next generation of American doctors and take care of very complicated patients. They are the place where new ideas are born, but we are starving.”

Technology Incorporation

  • There is a hope that smartphones would help revolutionize the way the healthcare industry and medical billing outsourcing companies uses IT. The use of smartphones can help increase patient engagement, a significant step towards improving the quality of healthcare. For Instance, the use of electronic healthcare records is an efficient way to strengthen physician and patient relationships. With this system, patients can easily communicate and even keep track of their medical claims.
  • Some healthcare industry experts also believe that patients need to have adequate housing and high-quality food. Access to healthy food and safer housing will help them fight many of the illnesses caused due to these reasons.
  • Bring the scientists to the forefront of the research in the healthcare industry. The innovators need to be rewarded and incentivized for their contributions. It will help motivate more scientists to come with cures for the most deadly diseases.
  • Another problem is the increased administrative burden in the medical billing services that restricts physicians from providing value-based healthcare to the community. It is generally not their fault, but the strict claim eligibility parameters and incentive payment programs have made it difficult for them to rationalize their time accurately.
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