2018 Healthcare Outlook

TREND #5: THE FALL, AND LIKELY RISE, OF UNPAID MEDICAL BILLS

Hospitals have experienced improvements in uncompensated care revenue due to the ACA. But reform and economic uncertainty are creating a perfect storm that could erase this momentum.

HFMA/NAVIGANT UNCOMPENSATED CARE REVENUE ANALYSIS*

*Source: HFMA MAP App database, ~300 hospitals (2014-2016)

Uncompensated care revenue down 39%, 

cut in half in Medicaid expansion states

MAJOR REASON FOR THIS:

Jan. 2014 launch of ACA exchanges, Medicaid expansion in 24 of 31 states 

Uncompensated Care % of Gross Patient Revenue*

FACTORS POISED TO DERAIL UNCOMPENSATED CARE IMPROVEMENTS:

Policy uncertainty projected to increase uninsured rate
Potential for an economic downturn
High-deductible health plans challenging cash-strapped consumers, negatively impacting admissions
Policy uncertainty projected to increase uninsured rate
Potential for an economic downturn
High-deductible health plans challenging cash-strapped consumers, negatively impacting admissions

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR HOSPITALS AND HEALTH SYSTEMS:

A SPIKE IN CONSUMER SELF-PAY LIABILITY

WHAT PROVIDERS NEED TO DO:

Tighten revenue cycle functions, including:

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