The last thing a doctor or hospital wants is for an individual to be too afraid of how much a procedure or treatment is going to cost, especially if the treatment or procedure is important. But, as survey after survey reveals, the number of people who put off treating medical conditions, including those deemed to be “serious” is on the rise.
More than 25% of respondents to one survey conducted by Gallup (https://news.gallup.com/poll/269138/americans-delaying-medical-treatment-due-cost.aspx) indicated that they postponed getting treatment for a serious medical condition. That figure represents the largest number of individuals who have said they postponed treatment for a serious condition in the two decades that Gallup has been conducting the survey.
This data comes at a time when more people are dying during their “working” years or mid-life years, than ever before. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-life-expectancy/u-s-life-expectancy-declining-due-to-more-deaths-in-middle-age-idUSKBN1Y02C7). Economic hardship is being cited as one of the reasons why the mortality rate in the United States is climbing, at a time when advancements in medical research are occurring every day.
As one doctor said about the declining mortality rate in America: “This is an emergent crisis. And it is a uniquely American problem since it is not seen in other countries. Something about life in America is responsible.”
People should not be afraid to go to the doctor if they are sick or in pain. But, the growing healthcare crisis in the United States is forcing people to choose their financial well-being over their health. And, in many cases, that is a decision that only works for the short-term.
For healthcare organizations and the revenue cycle management companies they work with, understanding and empathy must be part of every conversation with an individual about an unpaid debt. Medical debt is far different than an auto loan or a credit card. In many cases, people don’t go into medical debt voluntarily. Something bad happens to them or a loved one, and, the next thing they know, they are in a lot of financial trouble.
As mentioned in a previous post, hospitals, especially rural hospitals, are at greater risk of closing now more than ever. It is important for healthcare organizations to be paid for the services they provide, so that they may continue to offer those services. They alone cannot be expected to shoulder the entire burden of “fixing” this crisis by reducing or eliminating patient bills.
Many of the broken parts of the system are outside of their control. Government, insurance companies, employers and patients themselves all need to come together to work towards a feasible solution. Let’s end the blame game and instead look for solutions.
PPMS is a management system for recovery agencies based upon developing, implementing and adhering to a set of strict industry-specific professional practices and policies.
PPMS certiﬁcation, much like a SAS-70 audit, requires independent CPA attestation that an agency has in place written policies, procedures, and work processes that ensure regulatory compliance and adherence to industry best practices. The agency must also demonstrate that it has procedures in place to identify and remediate any variance from these. PPMS certiﬁed agencies are subject to annual surveillance and must re-certify every ﬁve years.
An agency that has voluntarily undergone the PPMS application and certiﬁcation process is, quite simply, a better business partner than one which has not. This rigorous process results in:
This strict accreditation insures that you as HCI clients, receive the very best service.
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