In an ominous symptom of consumerism, patients overburdened by financial obligations are constricting cash flow to providers. As the Trump administration and Congress bear down on Obamacare, the battle lines are being drawn in the struggle to attain a cost-effective transformation of healthcare services.
This HealthLeaders article highlights an HFMA opinion piece from Navigant’s Jeff Goldsmith that sounds the alarm over the proliferation of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and their impact on the future financial position of hospitals and health systems.
The circumstances mean [that] almost one in five working American families are being billed significant amounts for their healthcare use, representing an important new claim on their wages and savings. For households with limited resources, the simple fact is that the growing financial responsibility for out-of-pocket healthcare expense must compete with other more formal and established forms of debt, such as mortgages, credit cards, and student loans, effectively tying the future financial position of hospitals much more directly to the economic cycle than at any time since the advent of health insurance.