Bad Medical Debt Expense Crunch

More Patients Fiscally Solvent?

[By Staff Writers]

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First there was the housing and credit crunch for us all, and now there is the bad medical debt expense [BMDE] crunch for the healthcare industry.

As a medical professional, if you are struggling to manage your personal, or practice bad debt load – you’re not alone. But, some of the pain may not be necessary.

The Telagent Study

According to a new study, a good percentage of the self-pay accounts receivable [ARs] write-offs, of hospitals and/or private concierge medical practices could have possibly been collected if those entities tightened their initial financial screening procedures.

The study, which was done by Nashville, TN-based vendor Telagent, analyzed receivables between 90 and 180 days old from January 2007 to January 2008. They drew the records from 40 providers, some of which were existing clients.

Researcher Findings

Researchers found that 30 percent of the self-pay accounts were written off as bad medical debt expenses [BMDEs] because patient’s incomes and net worths weren’t obtained or verified.

However, when Telagent did the research, it found that more than 16 percent of the patients being studied could be classified as having high income and/or high net worth, while another 33 percent had moderate household income or net worth.

And so, Telagent suggested that all of these accounts could have been re-billed or outsourced to collections. Meanwhile, another 17 percent of written-off accounts might have qualified for government assistance or charity care programs, the vendor reported.


And so, please contact a credit repair specialist, financial advisor or medical practice management expert if you experience this type of personal, practice or corporate credit crunch. Of course, we always encourage you to seek counsel as lack of retaining same may mitigate against you when pursuing legal patient claims in your court of judiciary venue.


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2 Responses

  1. More on Consumer Medical Debt

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits listing information on your report that jeopardizes your medical privacy. Often, this means medical debt doesn’t appear unless it goes to collections.

    One possible exception: If you pay with a credit card or through a third-party lender, the balance could show up as a regular debt, minus any medical information.

    Once in collections, medical debt can pop up on a credit report, but privacy rights are still in effect.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  2. Medical Debt


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