Report: Calif. Hospitals’ Collections Hit Hard by Economic Downturn
While the recession and a growing number of uninsured patients have placed strain on health care providers across the country, California hospitals are under particular pressure, according to new report by credit reporting group TransUnion, Payers & Providers reports.
The report found that 96% of U.S. hospitals have faced financial pressure from treating uninsured and underinsured patients.
In addition, the report found California health care providers might be experiencing particular strain because:
- The number of paymentsÂ from health plans and private payers to independent practice associations declined by about 6% between the first quarter of 2009 and 2010;
- Californians' average credit ratings decreased fromÂ being 8.7%Â higher than national averagesÂ at the end of 2007 to being 2% lower than national averages by the end of 2009; and
- A 2006 law (AB 774) restricts the ways in which California hospitals can collectÂ unpaid medical bills (Payers & Providers, 4/15).