Pathology groups and clinical laboratories should be taking steps to collect from patients at the point of care, as a key strategy to minimize patient bad debt
Here’s some bad news for hospital Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and an early warning for clinical laboratory administrators. A rising number of patients with high deductible health plans (HDHPs) are unable to pay their medical bills.
Enrollment in HDHPs has soared in recent years because more employers and health insurers have adopted these plans. HDHPs also are called consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) and typically have annual family deductibles of between $5,000 and $10,000. (more…)
Steep increases in insurance costs may leave patients with less money to cover deductibles and copayments for clinical laboratory tests
Next year, consumers and small businesses can expect what one health insurance CEO says will be, “Premium rate shock for 2014.” As this happens, clinical laboratories and pathology groups are likely to find it even more difficult to collect co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket fees from patients who had medical laboratory tests performed.
The premium rate shock remark was made by no less than Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, Inc. (NYSE: AET). In his speech at an investor conference, he predicted premiums would rise by 20% to 50% next year before the government subsidies are applied. In some markets, rates could double, he added.
Aetna is not alone in seeking steep hikes in health insurance premiums. Blue Shield of California is seeking a rate increase of 12% to 20% for more than 300,000 individuals, The Los Angeles Times reported. These new rates would go into effect in March, the company said. (more…)
More medical tourists may also contribute to further globalization of lab testing
Medical tourism continues to be a force with the potential to exert significant influence on healthcare in the United States. For that reason, experts have weighed in recently on how efforts to reform healthcare may either inhibit or encourage growth in the number of Americans opting to become medical tourists.
Just as medical tourism has the potential to be transformative to certain aspects of healthcare here in this country, Dark Daily believes that medical tourism may also encourage greater globalization of pathology services and clinical laboratory testing. For both reasons, pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will find recent commentary to be enlightening. (more…)