Hospitals are asking for payments from patients before they leave the facility so they don’t end up with unpaid bills. Knowing the costs before the procedure is important because insurance deductibles are increasing and so are procedure costs. Obamacare policies on the exchanges are raising premiums even quicker. If a patient cannot afford their hospital bill, payment plans and loans are available. They have the option of waiting for their insurance to process their claim. Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has a financial counseling program, and is planning to expand it to all departments in the next few years. The average deductible for an employer plan is up almost 50% from five years ago, with the most common being $5000. Receiving payments in advance improves hospitals’ profit. Uncompensated care makes up 6% of hospital expenses.
Luhby, Tami. “Hospitals ask patients to pay upfront.” Economy. CNN Money, 29 Sept 2014. Web. 16 Oct 2014.