A new report from TransUnion Healthcare indicates that patient out-of-pocket payments rose 22% in 2012, “increasing from $1,678 in Q4 2011 to $2,042 in Q4 2012.” Yet the average patient’s ability to cover these expenses decreased in terms of available credit. At the end of 2011, consumers had $20.50 of total revolving credit for every dollar spent on healthcare, but by the end of 2012 that ratio had dropped to $16.80. This is a crucial as it illustrates a trajectory where healthcare costs are on track to compete significantly with consumer’s other monthly financial obligations.
Uncompensated care is a major challenge facing providers today. This rising patient portion combined with a lack of credit suggests providers must find new ways to engage patients and enable them to make payment.
To see the full article in Becker’s Hospital Review see here.