Report: Uninsured American adults percentage falls to 15.9 percent

More hospitals should do their part to prepare for a busier accounts receivable department.

The Affordable Care Act's March 31 deadline is getting closer and more Americans are enrolling into a health insurance policy. Whether the coverage is from their employer, state or federal health exchanges marketplace, figures from Gallup found that Americans from all age groups and demographics are purchasing health insurance.

Between January and February, Gallup reached out to thousands of Americans to ask about the steps they have taken to obtain health insurance coverage and found most Americans are taking advantage of government-funded programs or Medicare and Medicaid.

"The percentage of uninsured has declined across all age groups this year, except for those aged 65 and older. The uninsured rate for that group has likely remained stable because most Americans aged 65 and older have Medicare," the report reads.

One of the biggest changes occurred among families whose household income is $36,000 per year, dropping nearly 3 percentage points. Hospitals and doctor's offices anticipating a larger patient population should do their part to carefully read these insurance policies, just in case the doctor is unable to accept a policy or is unable to perform specific medical procedures because their policy doesn't cover such.

Before practitioners and hospitals cheer and shout that their uncompensated care problem will significantly decrease, we need to remember that health insurance policies don't go into effect immediately. In fact, accounts receivable services may continue to experience the typical back-and-forth battles if the patient enrolls in between health insurance implementation periods or fails to pay their premium. Last year the health care industry lost about $322 million in outstanding payments.

Offices that are already experiencing some level of backlog, consider outsourcing a number of accounts to a medical claims management provider. These professionals have the time to identify a payment plan that works best for the patient.