In medical collections, TAG has a saying: "two equally informed people rarely disagree." When it comes to the landscape for medical facilities in the coming months, however, it is a lack of information that stands to present a significant challenge.
Affordable Care Act
As the Affordable Care Act slowly becomes implemented and some of the uncertainty around its dates and deadlines starts to clear up, the healthcare industry is gaining a better understanding of the impact it will have. Specifically, they are starting to see the effect the Act will have on their accounts receivable and their amount of bad debt.
With the deadline looming for open enrollment in The Affordable Care Act, one of the first landmarks is finally set to fall and possibly set things in motion.
An annual survey conducted by the American College of Healthcare Executives at the beginning of the year revealed top concerns for hospital CEOs. Not surprisingly, financial challenges topped the list, continuing a trend that has been consistent for the last 10 years. It is interesting, though, to consider the wrinkles to that challenge in the year 2014 and how they rank.
The top five challenges, as identified by hospital executives, were:
The Affordable Care Act was implemented, among many other reasons, so that more Americans would be able to afford health insurance. It seems basic to say so, but it is worth a reminder that it was the core philosophy behind the law (it's even in the name). In particular, it was thought that people from the ages 18-34 who were more likely to have no insurance in the past would be more likely to get coverage under the act.
Earlier this month USA Today conducted an analysis of how the amount of bad debt for hospitals will be affected by the Affordable Care Act.
Citing the same study from the Kaiser Family Foundation that was considered by TAG in our own projections about ACA earlier this month, USA Today found that the prominence of "bronze level" plans will play a significant role in the A/R for hospitals and medical centers.
The Kaiser Family Foundation released a study this week that looked at the issue of "Medical Debt among People with Health Insurance." In addition to looking at some of the factors for bad debt among the insured in recent years, it looks ahead to what trends might emerge with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 and beyond.
How will the Affordable Care Act affect hospitals' accounts receivable? Will it result in more bad debt?
These are just two key questions among the mass uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act. In the midst of the contentious debates, the grandstanding, name calling, finger pointing, and other tactics familiar to the world of politics, serious and pressing questions about this law have been looming.