Thursday, July 7, 2016

Disability and The Cost of Getting Better

According to the 2012 Census, about one in five Americans has a disability. One of the sectors that feels the brunt of this statistic is the medical industry, as doctors and nurses treat more and more patients with disabilities. What’s more, this number is about to grow even bigger if historical trends hold true.

Not Easy to Be Disabled

As medical professionals know, healthcare for the disabled is anything but cheap. According to 2006 data, the CDC says that 26% of all adult health care costs were disability related, amounting to a whopping $398.7 billion.

Unfortunately, the disabled are often not in the position to afford such care, precisely because their disabilities prevent them from being gainfully employed. In fact, statistics show that people living with disabilities are twice as likely to be poor than their able-bodied counterparts. Even more disturbing, this number has only increased over the past 25 years.

Charity Care Funds Being Slashed

Further compounding the problem is the fact that some states are slashing funding for charity care. With tighter charity budgets, hospitals risk piling on potential bad debt since they cannot realistically expect to collect unpaid bills from disabled patients.

Eligibility is the Key

Luckily, many people with illnesses are actually eligible to get social security disability benefits from the government--they just might not know that their condition is covered by such provisions. That’s why many hospitals now hire eligibility experts to help assess a patient’s case and determine their eligibility for benefits.

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