Unraveling the Patient Pay Dilemma

Posted by Jeff Grobaski | Jul 6, 2023 9:35:23 AM

In the ever-changing landscape of healthcare economics, there has been a disproportionate increase in hospitals' bad debt. Over the past three years, hospitals are grappling with over 45% surge1 in bad debt stemming from self-pay patients post adjudication (11% in 2018 to over 57% in 2021). 

However, deductible totals from employer health plans for families have only increased a modest 14% over that same time period ($3,179 in 20182, $3,646 in 20213). The dramatic increase of bad debt and the slight increase in deductibles gives insight into how hospitals collection efforts are panning out. With two thirds of households not having the resources to cover the deductible in a year's time frame4, more and more patient responsibility is being written off. 

These figures shed light on the challenges faced by both patients and healthcare providers. Rising deductibles put additional financial strain on families seeking medical care, while hospitals grapple with the complexities of collecting patient debt, when so many of their historical options have been removed by new laws and regulations.

The world of collecting patient responsibility has changed, so healthcare organizations have to change their approach and technologies in order to survive.  

About Epic River:

Epic River’s platform enables fully integrated lending as a service that provides a premium digital customer experience to augment or completely replace internal payment plans for healthcare providers. We help our healthcare providers and financial institutions create a unique offering that allows patients to afford the ever-increasing cost of healthcare.  Learn more at



  1. Crowe RCA Benchmarking Analysis, August 2022
  2. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Trends in Health Insurance at Private Employers, 2008-2020.,firms%20(%241%2C814)%20in%202020.
  3. Center for American Progress. Health Insurance Costs Are Squeezing Workers and Employers. November 29, 2022.,to%2089%20percent%20in%202021.&text=The%20amounts%20of%20these%20deductibles,2010%20to%20%242%2C004%20in%202021.
  4. Kaiser Family Foundation. March 10, 2022


Topics: Medical Lending, Patient Financing, Blog, patient financial services, patient lending, patient responsibility

Written by Jeff Grobaski

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