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4 Reasons Why Hospitals Should Contend with Bad Medicare Debt Now

Reason #1. Less than a year ago, the reports started coming through, suggesting that an increasing number of rural hospitals were being forced to seek private financing or to close their doors.  This, of course, is devastating to the areas serviced by these hospitals, for numerous reasons, including the loss of jobs as a result of the closing medical centers, and further distance between emergency medical service and their homes.  If poor cash flow is the cause of these hospitals suffering such financial hardship, then this is an obvious reason to seek payment on bad debt, including bad Medicare debt.  However, it is not the only reason.

Even if a medical facility is not, currently, struggling financially, there are many reasons to take immediate action to seek payment on bad Medicare debt.  Just consider the following five facts and how they could impact hospitals in the near future, should those medical facilities fail to collect payment on outstanding Medicare-related debt.

Reason #2: There are approximately 57 million United States citizens currently enrolled in Medicare.  That is 16% of the overall population, and this number is expected to rise considerably in the coming year.  This would be particularly true if the hinted at “Medicare for all” concept should become a reality in this nation.  Even now, based on this information, an average of three out of every twenty people entering the hospital in seek of medical care will be paying, at least in part, for the service with a Medicare policy.  That could also mean that 16% of all accounts at the hospital could involve bad Medicare debt.

Reason #3: Medicare does not cover all medical expenses, and many recipients seek additional Medicaid coverage to assist them with those uncovered costs.  The gap between Medicaid and Medicare coverage often goes unpaid by patients, due to personal financial hardship.  Changes to the Medicaid standards, at any time, could lead to fewer people being able to afford the medical expenses not covered by Medicare.

Reason #4: More than 10% of Medicare Summary Notices issued by the MACs hired to oversee Medicare claims, are erroneous.  That works out to be nearly $40 billion per year in incorrect payments.  The MACs hired to oversee the claims process are not held accountable for failing to catch these inaccurate records.  It is most definitely worth investigating Medicare payments, reporting incorrect payments, and seeking payment for Medicare-related bad debt.

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