The medical industry has been growing at a very fast pace, but the public sector is still lagging behind, despite being a major part of the system. For example, in the United States, over sixty percent of hospital beds are occupied by uninsured patients, while at the same time people in general are not purchasing enough insurance to pay their expenses. This has a number of implications for the hospitals as they will have to either increase their rates to attract these uninsured patients, or they will lose them altogether, but if the uninsured patients are admitted, there will be no medical bill to pay. In essence, the hospitals will end up making more money from paying the hospital bills of the uninsured patients than the insured patients.
As an example, if the uninsured patient is admitted in an emergency room with a chest pain and heart disease, they will have to pay for their entire stay to get the treatment they require, which means that they will only be responsible for about fifty-five percent of their total bill, leaving the hospital with another fifty-five percent to cover their other expenses. This can mean huge financial savings for the hospital, but unfortunately it means huge expenses for the hospital as well. If the hospital had a more streamlined process for paying the patients, they could offer lower payment rates and even offer better discounts for the uninsured patients. However, the lack of a streamlined process means that the hospital has to spend more money to recruit more staff and more equipment to make sure that the hospital is ready to take care of each and every uninsured patient who come in.
This can also translate into a larger number of uninsured patients coming into the hospital and having to pay their hospital bill on top of the costs that they already incur. Hospitals in the United States are finding that uninsured patients are much more expensive than those who have insurance, so this has caused many hospitals to cut their emergency room budget significantly. There is also the issue of the uninsured patient’s inability to pay their bills, which means that they will need to pay even more for the bill if they choose to go to the emergency room. This has led many hospitals to look into alternative financing solutions such as Medicaid and Medicare Part D, but in order to qualify for these programs, the hospitals will have to increase their emergency room charges dramatically, and the uninsured patients may find that they do not have enough money to pay for their hospital bill in one month.