It’s no secret that the healthcare reform is changing the way medical providers operate. Patient responsibility is higher than ever, and consumers are having a difficult time understanding their new policies. This leads to higher patient balances, which often go unpaid. In addition, with co-pays, deductibles and co-insurances on the rise, patients are beginning to shop around for care. In order to compete, the emphasis in medical practices must shift from volume to value.
Nonprofit hospitals in particular are feeling the strain of new regulations on top of increasing patient balances and stricter collection requirements. Deductibles are up nearly 40% from the average for an individually purchased plan before the health care reform, yet the Affordable Care Act requires nonprofit hospitals to follow “reasonable billing and collection requirements,” and to cease “extraordinary” debt collection. But what is considered “reasonable” or “extraordinary”?