55% of Consumers Find it Stressful Paying a Healthcare Bill

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By Staff Reporters

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An annual study of over 1,500 U.S. consumers, shows:

 •  55% of consumers find it stressful paying a healthcare bill.
 •  53% of consumers find it stressful understanding their plan’s coverage and benefits.
 •  53% of consumers find it stressful comprehending what they owe.
 •  59% of consumers find it stressful reconciling a bill issue with their payer.

Source: Cedar via GlobeNewswire, December 7, 2021

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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56% of Patients Attempted to Stretch Out a Prescription

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By Staff Reporters

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56% of Patients Attempted to Stretch Out a Prescription According tot a Recent CoverMyMeds Survey of 1,000 patients. It found: 

•  79% of patients said they’ve gone to the pharmacy only to discover a prescription cost more than they expected.
•  When faced with an affordability challenge, 56% of patients attempted to stretch out a prescription.
 •  When faced with an affordability challenge, 52% of patients skipped bills or other essential items to afford medications.
•  When faced with an affordability challenge, 51% of patients sacrificed medications to pay bills and other essentials.

Source: CoverMyMeds, “2022 Medication Access Data Guide,” February 2022

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Rx Podcast: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2022/02/20/podcast-how-to-write-a-medical-prescription-rx/

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SPIKE: Hospitals Suing Patients for Unpaid Medical Bills

By Staff Reporters

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Spike in Hospitals Suing Patients for Unpaid Medical Bills

 •  Lawsuits over unpaid bills for hospitals rose by 37% in Wisconsin from 2001 to 18.
 •  Wage garnishments from the lawsuits rose 27% in that time period.
 •  5% of hospitals account for 25% of lawsuits. Nonprofit hospitals and critical access hospitals are more likely to sue patients, according to the study.
 •  There were 1.86 lawsuits per 1,000 Black residents in 2018, compared to 1.32 per 1,000 white residents.

Source: YaleNews, December 6, 2021

HEALTH ECONOMICS CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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31% of Americans Don’t Know How They’d Pay for Severe Illness

By Staff Reporters

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31% of Americans Don’t Know How They’d Pay for Severe Illness

A recent survey by HealthcareInsider that polled 1,062 adults aged 18 and up asked, “If you were to experience a severe illness how would you pay for treatment?”

 •  Don’t know: 31%
 •  Credit card: 26%
 •  Non-retirement savings: 17%
 •  Borrow money from family: 16%
 •  Retirement savings: 11%
 •  Health Savings Account: 9%
 •  Borrow from a finance institution: 8%
 •  Crowdfund online: 6%

Source: HealthCareInsider, December 2nd, 2021COMMENTS APPRECIATED.

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PODCAST: Never Pay Your First Medical Bill?

Marshall Allen Has a New Healthcare Book Out Called Never Pay the First Bill.”

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Medical “Bill of the Month” Club

Bill of the Month Club

[By staff reporters]

Journalists from Kaiser Health News and NPR will be looking at surprising medical bills and figuring out what they can tell us about the health care system. You can share your story here.

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LINK:

https://www.npr.org/series/651784144/bill-of-the-month

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Patients Challenging Medical Invoices and Bills

Root Cause is Money, Failure-to-Disclose and Frustration

[By Staff Reporters]

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Patients are challenging their medical bills with lawyers and lawsuits, out of frustration about the lack of up-front disclosure over costs by doctors and hospitals.

Involve More than a Few Cases

For example, after being charged $82,282 for a 23-hour stay in doctor-owned Westfield Hospital for two operations on her abdomen, a 56-year-old West Penn Township woman called the hospital and her insurer for an explanation.

Not satisfied with the response, she hired a lawyer and notified a reporter, after which Westfield officials said she was overcharged due to human error.

In another 2006 class-action Seattle lawsuit that was expected to have a ripple effect on consumers and hospitals, two patients of the Virginia Mason Medical Center filed suit against the center and won, after which Virginia Mason agreed to pay back an estimated $60 million to more than 3,200 patients who over six years had been charged ”overhead” for procedures performed in hospital-owned clinics – in some cases adding 60 percent to the price patients would have been charged for the same procedure performed by the same doctors in their offices.

Assessment

Although private legal action over medical bills is hard to track, the number of billing and coverage complaints filed with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s health care unit has risen steadily, with the 2,000 or more complaints so far this year representing a five or six percent increase over last year; according to Morning Call, July 13, 2008.

Conclusion

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