Consumer Reports survey finds Americans are seeing less return for their health care dollars

Sep 25, 2014 | Healthcare Industry News

Surprise out of network bills, hidden costs and high deductibles—these are just some of the common traits of our country's health care system that have frustrated patients. Per person, the United States pays about twice as much as other developed countries for health care, and every year, it seems that consumers are getting less for their money. 

In 2000, health plans cost companies $6,438 per staffer. In 2013, those costs shot up to $16,351—money, the source points out, that could have gone into employee paychecks. Even worse, employees see little return for their money.

For developed nations, the U.S. ranks fifth in quality and worst for both infant mortality rates and preventing deaths from treatable conditions, such as strokes, diabetes and high blood pressure.

There is also a significant problem concerning cost consistency and transparency. Unlike every other industry, in health care, the consumer holds little to no power. Instead, labs, drug companies and doctors negotiate their own prices, which most often results in patients being pushed into newer and more expensive treatments.

"There is no such thing as a legitimate price for anything in health care," George Halvorson, former chairman of Kaiser Permanente, the giant health maintenance organization based in California, told Consumer Reports. "Prices are made up depending on who the payer is."

With the increased health care needs of an aging population, it seems that these problems will unfortunately continue, unless significant reform takes place. The rising cost of care has also affected many care facilities, who experience mounting issues of bad debt as patients are unable to cover the cost of care. 

If this is currently the case at your facility, accounts receivable outsourcing can help decrease the amount of dollars written off to bad debt and result in a more manageable claims load for in-house staff.