Healthcare CEOs: Get Ready for the Haters
To be sure, the trend of greater patient financial responsibility for their healthcare is not necessarily driven by Obamacare. In fact, it's chiefly driven by the fact that health insurance deductibles, coinsurance, and copays have been seen by employers and payers for a few years now as the last best hope to get a handle on the growth in healthcare costs.
The theory is that patients will begin to ration their healthcare and shop for the best price because they're more responsible for the cost. Well, that may happen, but other negative consequences of this trend are less immediately apparent. Sometimes, they just can't, or won't pay.
One consequence, this CFO argued, is that patients begin to blame the hospital for the crushing level of healthcare costs for which they are now responsible. This makes them less likely to pay than ever.
In any case, the CFO and several of his colleagues agreed that hospitals will likely be the focal point of hatred from patients simply because they're trying to collect on a bill that used to be paid by someone else.
In most cases, patients find out about the huge share of the cost of care they are responsible for from the hospitals themselves. So it's at least partially a case of 'blame the messenger.'
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