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2019 Medical Billing Statistics

2019 Medical Billing Statistics

The healthcare industry is constantly changing – how hospitals and health systems deal with these changes can make the difference for a healthy bottom line and ability to continue servicing the communities in which they exist.

The statistics below are in reverse chronological order and updated on a regular basis.

**Updated September 18, 2019**

Healthcare Spending and Medical Billing

75% of patients are looking up the cost of medical procedures online.

62% of patients said knowing their out-of-pocket expenses in advance of service impacts the likelihood of pursuing care.

49% of patients said having clear information on expected out-of-pocket costs before receiving treatment impacts their decision to use a healthcare provider.


A new TransUnion Healthcare (NYSE:) analysis revealed that patients experienced an 11% increase in average out-of-pocket costs during 2017, rising from $1,630 in Q4 2016 to $1,813 in Q4 2017. The analysis also revealed that in 2017, on average, 49% of patient out-of-pocket costs per healthcare visit were below $500; 39% were $501-$1,000; and 12% were more than $1,000. Total hospital revenue attributable to patient financial responsibility after insurance increased 88 percent between 2012 and 2017

Source: New TransUnion Healthcare analysis finds patients continue to see rising costs

69% have a budget process that takes more than three months from initial rollout to board presentation (the process takes more than six months for 9% of these organizations)

41% use rolling forecasts to complement or to replace an annual budgeting process (31% have to plans to implement rolling forecasts)

50%+ CFOs want access to easier report creation, better dashboards and visuals, and enhanced ability to drill into reports to understand underlying details (2/3 struggle to pull data from multiple resources).

Source: Becker’s CFO Report, Hospital CFOs: 3 things demanding your attention in 2018

Link to original Kaufman Hall study here»

A Bloomberg study showed that healthcare bankruptcy have more than tripled in 2017. As of 2012, 75 million people reported problems paying their medical bills or were paying off medical debt.

The administrative costs associated with billing and insurance-related activities as estimated to be up to 25.2% for emergency department visits.

Source: Administrative Costs Associated With Physician Billing and Insurance-Related Activities at an Academic Health Care System

Patient healthcare costs – including both deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum payments – have increased by almost 30% percent since 2015.

The average deductible is $1,820 and the average out-of-pocket maximum cost is $4,400.

83% of Physician Practices under five practitioners said the slow payment of high-deductible plan patients are their top collection challenge, followed by the difficulties that practice staff have at communicating patient payment accountability (81%).

Source: Black Book™ 2017 Revenue Cycle Management Survey 

2018 Deductible Breakdown For Single Coverage Employer Health Insurance:

  • 7% have no deductible
  • 16% have a deductible under $500
  • 19% have a deductible between $500 and $999
  • 46% have a deductible between $1,000 and $2,999
  • 6% have a deductible between $3,000 and $3,999
  • 6% have a deductible that is $4,000 or higher.

2018 Deductible Breakdown For Family Coverage Employer Health Insurance:

  • 7% have no deductible
  • 3% have a deductible under $500
  • 11% have a deductible between $500 and $999
  • 29% have a deductible between $1,000 and $2,999
  • 26% have a deductible between $3,000 and $4,999
  • 23% have a deductible of $5,000 or higher.

Source: Average Health Care Deductible Nearly $1,500 for Individual Coverage Through an Employer Plan, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; September 11, 2018

As of January 2017, 52 health insurance providers reported 21.8 million HSA/HDHP enrollees, up from 20.2 million in 2016.

Source: America’s Health Insurance Plans: Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible Health Plans Grow as Valuable Financial Planning Tools 

68% of patients failed to fully pay off medical bill balances in 2016, up from 53 percent in 2015, and 49 percent in 2014. This number is expected to climb to 95% by 2020

Source: Patients May be the New Payers, But Two in Three Do Not Pay Their Hospital Bills in Full, TransUnion Healthcare, June 26, 2017

67% of Americans are either very worried or somewhat worried about unexpected medical bills (compared to 41% who are very or somewhat worried about paying their rent or mortgage)

Source: Data Note: Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs, Kaiser Family Foundation; June 11, 2019

Consumers are demanding more from healthcare
92% of consumers want to know payment responsibility prior to a provider visit
74% of consumers are confused by Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) and medical bills
73% of providers report that it takes one month or longer to collect from patients

Omnichannel payments are impacting healthcare
68% of consumers prefer electronic payment methods to pay their medical bills
80% of consumers prefer online payment channels to pay their health plan premiums
20% of online healthcare payments are made on a mobile device

Paper is hurting all healthcare stakeholders
86% of consumers receive paper medical bills
88% of providers report receiving paper checks and Explanation of Payment (EOPs) from one or more of their payers
85% of providers prefer ERA/EFT payments

Healthcare data is under attack
2016 saw more healthcare data breaches than any other year on record
90% of providers report that payment security is very important when collecting patient payments
59% of consumers have significant concerns regarding the security of making payments for both their medical bills and health plan premiums

Source: InstaMed, 2016 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report, June 13, 2017

It costs four times more to collect from a patient than it does from an insurance company.

Source: The Rise of Self-Pay Accounts, The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, Collector Magazine, February 2015

30% of the average healthcare bill now comes from the patient’s pocket.

74 percent of healthcare providers reported an increase in patient financial responsibility in 2015

90% of patients felt it was important to know their payment responsibility upfront.

Source: InstaMed, Trends in Healthcare Payments, Sixth Annual Report: 2015

U.S. health care spending increased 5.8 percent to reach $3.2 trillion, or $9,990 per person. The coverage expansion that began in 2014 as a result of in the Affordable Care Act continued to have an impact on the growth of health care spending in 2015. Additionally, faster growth in total health care spending in 2015 was driven by stronger growth in spending for private health insurance, hospital care, physician and clinical services, and the continued strong growth in Medicaid and retail prescription drug spending. Lastly, the overall share of the U.S. economy devoted to health care spending was 17.8 percent in 2015, up from 17.4 percent in 2014.

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Health Expenditures 2015 Highlights

States who refuse to expand Medicaid are foregoing $423.6 billion in federal funds between 2013-2022. Hospital in these states will lose an additional $167.8 billion in Medicaid funding.

Source: What Is the Result of States Not Expanding Medicaid?, The Urban Institute & the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, August 2014

75% of patients say that understanding their out-of-pocket costs improves their ability to pay for healthcare.

54% – More than half of insured Americans reported they were either sometimes or always confused by medical bills.

62% reported being either sometimes or always surprised by out-of-pocket costs.

Source: TransUnion Health Survey, June 1, 2014 (Press release)

Government only covering about two-thirds of estimated uncompensated care burden, leaving approx $26.3 billion on the table.

Source: Health care’s $85 billion challenge – uncompensated care in the Obamacare age, Washington Post, May 5, 2014

Healthcare premiums are growing at four-times the rate of inflation. Currently today – through both premium sharing and benefit costs – employees are paying 41% of the healthcare dollar. If the trend line continues over the next 3-5 years – employees will be paying more than 50%.

Source: Aetna CEO, Mark Bertolini at HIMSS 2014

The cost of uncompensated care has more than doubled in the past 10 years.

Source: American Hospital Association, Annual Survey of Hospitals, 2014

U.S. hospitals provided $45.9 billion in uncompensated care in 2012, representing 6.1 percent of annual hospital expenses.

Source: American Hospital Association, “Uncompensated Hospital Care Cost Fact Sheet,” January 2014

Average deductible on health care exchanges estimated to be between $3,000 and $5,000.

Source: On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, but Other Costs Can Be High, NY Times, December 9, 2013

The number of Americans under age 65 who did not have insurance at the time of interview in 2013 was 44.8 million, 39.6 million for ages 18-64 and 5.2 million for children under age 18.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-June 2013.

In 2013, annual premiums for families covered by employer-sponsored health insurance were $16,351 and $5,884 for individuals. Family premiums rose 4 percent since 2012. Over the last 10 years, the average premium for family coverage has increased 80 percent.

The percentage of covered workers enrolled in a plan with a general annual deductible increased to 78 percent in 2013.  More than half (58 percent) of covered workers at small firms with 3 to 199 employees now have a deductible of $1,000 or more.

Fifty-seven percent of covered workers are enrolled in PPO plans, which are the most common type. Twenty percent of covered workers are enrolled in an HDHP/SO plan, 14 percent have an HMO and 9 percent are enrolled in a POS plan. Enrollment in HDHP/SOs increased significantly between 2009 and 2011, from 8 percent to 17 percent of covered workers, but has plateaued since then. Enrollment distribution varies by firm size, for example, PPOs are relatively more popular for covered workers at large firms (200 or more workers) than smaller firms (62 percent vs. 47 percent)  and POS plans are relatively more popular among smaller firms than large firms (16 percent vs. 5 percent).

Source: The 2013 Employer Health Benefits survey, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), January-May 2013.

28% of uninsured adults either delayed or did not receive care because of cost

Source: How Does Cost Affect Access to Care, Kaiser Family Foundation; January 22, 2019

Patients are responsible for nearly one-quarter of their medical bill on average through the cost of co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance.

Source: 2013 National Health Insurer Report Card, American Medical Association (AMA).

60+% – The percentage of Americans who would prefer their bills and statements to be delivered either exclusively through electronic channels or a mix of physical and electronic channels.

Source: Right on Time? – Surviving the USPS Financial Crisis, BillTrust, 2013

No shows can cost the U.S. health-care system more than $150 billion a year.

Source: No-shows cost health care system billions, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 23, 2013

“Since 2000, hospitals of all types have provided more than $620 billion in uncompensated care to their patients.”

Source: Uncompensated Hospital Care Cost Fact Sheet – January 2019, American Hospital Association; January 2019

The national average for bad debt is 3.31 percent, 2.13 percent for charity and 5.44 percent for total uncollectable accounts. The Southeast region of the U.S. had the highest percentage of total uncollectable accounts at 9.92 percent.

Source: The Hospital Accounts Report Analysis on Third Quarter 2013

Half of all workers on employer-sponsored health plans could be on high-deductible insurance within a decade.

Source: Growth of Consumer-Directed Health Plans to One-Half of All Employer-Sponsored Insurance Could Save $57 Billion Annually, Rand, 2012.


Most hospital bills are $500 or less but of those that were more than $3,000, 99 percent were not paid in full.

92 percent of insured consumers are both able and willing to pay their out-of pocket medical expenses for annual liabilities of less than $500 per year. Even when expenses top $500 per year, the research indicates that 54 percent of patients are both willing and able to pay.

Source: U.S. healthcare payments: Remedies for an ailing system; Patrick Finn, Thomas Pellathy, Shubham Singhal; McKinsey on Payments, No.4, April 2009

For individuals with greater levels of obesity, lifetime medical costs are higher, ranging from $15,000 to $29,000 more than for normal weight individuals.

Source: The Lifetime Medical Cost Burden of Overweight and Obesity: Implications for Obesity Prevention RTI International and Merck & Co., May 29, 2008.

Medical Debt Statistics

As of 2012, 75 million people reported problems paying their medical bills or were paying off medical debt, up from 73 million in 2010 and 58 million in 2005. An estimated 48 million people were paying off medical debt in 2012, up from 44 million in 2010 and 37 million in 2006.

Source: Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014.

In 2012, 41 percent of adults (ages 19-64) reported that they had medical debt or trouble paying medical bills. Of those who reported difficulties paying medical bills or paying off medical debt, 42 percent (32 million people) said they received a lower credit rating as result of unpaid medical bills.

In 2012, 43 percent of adults, or 80 million people, said they had skipped or delayed getting needed health care or filling prescriptions because of the cost. This is an increase from 75 million people who reported such problems in 2010, and 64 million in 2005. More than a quarter (28 percent) of adults with a chronic health condition said they had skipped doses or not filled a prescription for their health condition because of the cost.

Source: The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey 2012, April 2013.

Health-care bankruptcy filings have more than tripled in 2017.

Source: Next U.S. Restructuring Epidemic: Sick Health-Care Companies 

Sean Biehle

Sean is Director of Creative Services for MedData, overseeing all content, design, and communications. With over 20 years of experience spanning multiple disciplines and media, Sean has helped launch several successful companies and grow business for multiple clients. He is a proud graduate of Northwestern University. Go Cats!

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