According to a study published in the journal Health Affairs, about 55% of hospitals lost money on every patient they treated back in 2013. More alarmingly, only a third of hospitals were able to generate a $1,000 revenue from discharged patients.
Obamacare and Hospital Revenue
In recent years, Obamacare has made huge strides in alleviating this problem. With more people getting insurance and less having to pay out of pocket, hospitals are spared from the headache of collecting unpaid bills. According to Obamacarefacts.com, the Affordable Care Act was able to decrease potential bad debt by $7 billion in 2014, a 21% reduction.
Barriers to Entry
A 2014 study conducted by PerryUndem Research for Enroll America found that 60% of respondents wanted to enroll for Obamacare but thought they couldn’t afford it. In this group, only one in five were even aware that they could qualify for subsidies to make the cost of coverage more bearable. In reality, about 80% of low-income enrollees are actually qualified to receive such subsidies.
Given the large disconnect between perceived and actual eligibility among enrollees, hospitals often find it helpful to engage the services of eligibility experts to counsel patients about the the coverage opportunities they may be missing out on.