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Hospitals Looking for Upfront Payments

In a recent report released by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management it was shown that the likelihood that a patient will pay the full amount of fees owed AFTER the care is provided drops to less than 20%.

With the particularly weak economic climate that we are currently in, hospitals are looking to make every penny count which has resulted in a brand new hospital operation – debt collection.

As less and less people are making payment, more and more hospitals are forced to  implement tougher policies on payment with – in some cases – the patient now being required to pay either all or a significant amount of the fees upfront or at the time of service.

As an example of the new, tougher payment rules working, Abington Memorial saw patient fess rise from $10,000 per month to more than $300,000.

“Given downturn in economy, if we weren’t doing this, we’d be much further behind,” Abington Memorial’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Walsh said.

From an historical perspective, many hospitals were a lot less concerned with patient fees as they contributed such a small amount towars hospital revenue while now many believe that the patient fees are the fastest growing portion of uncollected debt.

As the economy crashes, Philadelphia are hospitals have seen their uncollected debts rise from low, single figures to more than 5% or double figures.