Saturday, February 04, 2006

More patients asked to pay first

From the News Observer, via Symtym:

The next time you go in for care at UNC Hospitals or any of its outpatient clinics, don't forget your wallet.
Hospital workers are beginning to ask patients who come in for non-emergency care to pay their portion of the bill up front, usually when they check in for medical appointments.

Some may balk at paying for treatment they have yet to receive, but many hospitals say it's necessary because too many patients don't pay their share. Unpaid bills have mounted in recent years, and hospital administrators worry that will only worsen as health insurance becomes less generous and patients become responsible for more of their own medical bills. Patient fees now frequently make up a quarter or more of hospitals' total reimbursement for some services.


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