80% of uninsured Americans said they didn’t know about financial resources like payment plans or financial assistance offered by their providers

South San Francisco, Calif. – October 27, 2022 – AKASA™, the leading developer of AI for healthcare operations, released findings from a new survey ​​conducted on its behalf by YouGov, which highlights how limited price transparency in healthcare can influence patient decisions on whether to seek necessary care and how the lack of awareness about financial resources offered by health systems puts patients at a disadvantage when managing medical bills.

More than 2,000 Americans were asked: “If you were unaware of the price ahead of the care or service, would you be deterred from seeking out care or services for any of the following individuals?”

Myself

  • 40% said they wouldn’t be deterred from seeking out care from themselves based on lack of healthcare pricing information
  • 35% said they would be deterred from seeking out care for themselves if they were unaware of pricing for necessary care or services
  • 25% said they didn’t know if lack of healthcare pricing information would or would not deter them from seeking care for themselves

Dependents

  • 51.2% said they wouldn’t be deterred from seeking care for dependents if pricing information wasn’t provided on necessary care or services needed
  • 18.3% of Americans said they would be deterred from seeking care for dependents if they were unaware of healthcare pricing information
  • 30.3% said they didn’t know if lack of pricing information would or would not deter them from seeking care for dependents

Parents/guardians

  • 50% said they wouldn’t be deterred from seeking care for parents or guardians if pricing information wasn’t provided on necessary care or services needed
  • 20% of Americans said they would be deterred from seeking care for parents or guardians if they were unaware of healthcare pricing information
  • 30% said they didn’t know if lack of pricing information would or would not deter them from seeking care for parents or guardians

While many people may be more willing to invest in the care of loved ones, this trend is troubling as limited knowledge around pricing may discourage individuals from seeking care they need themselves. Delaying care can lead to more severe conditions which are often more complicated and costly to treat.

Additionally, respondents were asked: “Do you know if payment plans or financial assistance are offered by your physician or hospital?” 64% of Americans said they didn’t know if their physicians or hospitals offer payment plans or financial assistance for medical bills – highlighting how a key measure to prevent financial hardship is underutilized.

When delving into the data, a shocking 80% of uninsured Americans said they didn’t know about financial resources like payment plans or financial assistance offered by their providers.

“Hospitals and health systems in the U.S. have been hyper-focused on improving the patient experience in recent years — and for good reason,” said Amy Raymond, VP of revenue cycle operation of AKASA. “A positive experience is directly tied to an organization’s reputation and ratings. It increases utilization, improves loyalty and retention, and, as a result, boosts their bottom line. Yet improving the patient financial experience in healthcare is one area that continues to lag behind other industries. If the reactive nature of medical billing continues to be the status quo, patients can miss out on opportunities to prevent medical debt which creates unnecessary hardship.”

“As hospitals and healthcare systems continue to grapple with slim profit margins, workforce shortages, rising denials, and a high cost-to-collect, they must prioritize the patient financial experience and rethink medical billing and revenue cycle as a front-end, patient advocacy function rather than a reactive, back-end process,” said Raymond. “Automation can help prevent surprise medical bills and takes a lot of the tedious work off the plates of revenue cycle specialists, freeing them up to serve as patient advocates.”

The YouGov survey, commissioned by AKASA, fielded responses from 2,026 Americans between March 9–14, 2022. The online survey was conducted at a confidence level of 95% and results for the total sample have a margin of error of +/- 2.18%, while results among those who have sought prices for healthcare services have a margin of error of +/-3.65%. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults 18 and older.

Survey Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th–14th March 2022.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

About AKASA

AKASA is the leading developer of AI for healthcare operations. AKASA scales human intelligence with leading-edge AI and ML securely trained on customer data to learn unique systems, continuously adapt to changing environments, and deliver comprehensive automation and analytics for complex workflows. The result is a seamlessly integrated, customized solution that reduces operating costs, frees up staff to do the work they love, and helps health systems allocate resources to where they matter most.

AKASA has a work-from-anywhere attitude and we are hiring. Step into the future of healthcare with AKASA. Learn more at AKASA.com.

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