Patients experienced an 11 percent increase in average out-of-pocket costs during 2017, rising from $1,630 at the end of 2016 to $1,813 in the final months of 2017, according to a Transunion analysis. The research also revealed that in 2017, on average, 49 percent of patient out-of-pocket costs per healthcare visit were below $500; 39 percent were between $501 and $1,000; and 12 percent were more than $1,000.
“Increasing healthcare costs and patient responsibility is a continuing trend that does not seem to be slowing anytime in the near future,” says Jonathan Wiik, principal of healthcare strategy at TransUnion Healthcare. “In order to allow patients to focus on getting the care they need, healthcare providers need processes and tools in place to help patients meet their financial obligations and to establish funding mechanisms that will benefit both the patient and provider.”
The need is supported by a 2016 Federal Reserve Economic Report of household income, which found 35 percent of adults would be unable to pay all of their other bill payments in full if faced with a $400 emergency.