TransUnion

2016 TransUnion Healthcare Report

Rising healthcare costs and declining revolving credit lines are putting growing financial burdens on patients. See what these findings mean for patients and healthcare providers—and get recommended solutions.

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TransUnion

2016 TransUnion Healthcare Report

Rising healthcare costs and declining revolving credit lines are putting growing financial burdens on patients. See what these findings mean for patients and healthcare providers—and get recommended solutions.

Get the Study

Findings: Consumers have less available for healthcare costs

Decline in Revolving Credit Infographic

TransUnion Healthcare’s proprietary ratio, which compares available revolving credit to select healthcare costs, declined to 17.2 to 1 in Q1 2016. The ratio means that for every $100 in healthcare costs, consumers had $1,720 in revolving credit to potentially make those payments at the end of March 2016. Just one year prior, consumers had $2,250 in revolving credit for medical costs as the ratio stood at 22.5 to 1 in Q1 2015.

TransUnion’s analysis found that patients in the subprime risk tier, generally the highest-risk consumers with a VantageScore 3.0 of 600 or below, are in an even more perilous position. As of Q1 2016, these patients only had $420 in revolving credit for every $100 in healthcare costs. In Q1 2015, these same patients had $600.

TransUnion Healthcare Cost Ratio
Gerry McCarthy

Our findings emphatically demonstrate that even with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, more patients are struggling to pay their healthcare costs. In fact, patient payment responsibility continues to rise even as they have less available credit to make their healthcare payments.

It’s a precarious position for consumers and healthcare providers alike, but fortunately many hospitals are beginning to implement new technologies that can help alleviate some of these issues now and in the future.

Gerry McCarthy, president of TransUnion Healthcare

Hospitals are turning to innovation to receive payments

With millions of dollars of unpaid medical bills, many hospitals are instituting new processes to recover monies owed to them, including:

  • Financing options to help consumers make their payments
  • Assessing patients' abilities to pay
  • Engaging in financial discussions prior to treatment

TransUnion Healthcare’s insurance discovery solution, eScan, has helped hospitals, health systems and physician offices recover more than $1.2 billion in insurance payments. Previously, hospitals would have categorized this money as bad debt or charity care, which are known as uncompensated care.

Healthcare Infographic
Jonathan Wiik

Employing these solutions at the front of the revenue cycle is an industry best practice. Having processes and tools in place to establish funding mechanisms will benefit the patient and provider.

Jonathan Wiik, principal for revenue cycle management at TransUnion Healthcare

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