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Billing Tree Survey Reveals Top Challenges

  • April 24, 2018
  • Published in Billing

BillingTree, an ACA International member company in Phoenix, recently released the findings of its second annual Healthcare Operations and Technology Survey showing the impact of technology adoption in the industry, trends in patient payments and new challenges.

The biggest challenges facing providers were a patient’s inability to pay, collecting payments after leaving the facility and more, according to the survey.  Technology adoption continues to remain a key focus in the future. Over the next 12 months, 63 percent of respondents plan to implement a patient payment portal.

“Having collected industry data for two consecutive years, we can see significant trends starting to emerge. One key development is the priority placed on technology adoption,” Dave Yohe, BillingTree’s vice president of marketing said in the news release.  

To request a complimentary copy of the survey, visit:


Healthcare Spending Expected to Increase at Faster Rate than Gross Domestic Product

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary projects growth in national health expenditures for 2017-2026 will be faster than the projected growth in the gross domestic product, according to a new report.  National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.5 percent each year between 2017-2026.

“Growth in national health spending is projected to be faster than projected growth in (gross domestic product) by 1.0 percentage points over 2017-2026.  As a result, the report projects the health share of GDP to rise from 17.9 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent by 2026,” according to CMS.  The prospects for national health spending and enrollment over the next 10 years are expected to be influenced primarily by key economic and demographic factors:


Trends in disposable personal income;

Increases in prices for medical goods and services; and

Shifts in enrollment from private health insurance to Medicare that result from the continued aging of the baby-boom generation into Medicare eligibility.


“[The] report from the independent CMS Office of the Actuary shows that healthcare spending is expected to continue growing more quickly than the rest of the economy,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a news release. “This is yet another call to action for CMS to increase market competition and consumer choice within our programs to help control costs and ensure that our programs are available for future generations.”

Additional findings from the report, according to CMS, include:

Total national health spending growth: Growth is projected to have been 4.6 percent in 2017, up slightly from 4.3 percent growth in 2016, as a result of i) accelerating growth in Medicare spending, ii) slightly faster growth in prices for healthcare goods and services, and iii) increases in premiums for insurance purchased through the Marketplaces. In 2018, total health spending is projected to grow by 5.3 percent, driven partly by growth in personal healthcare prices.

Medicare: Among the major payers for healthcare over the 2017-2026 period, Medicare is projected to experience the most rapid annual growth at 7.4 percent, largely driven by enrollment growth and faster growth in utilization from recent near-historically low rates.

Private health insurance: Private health insurance spending is projected to average 4.7 percent over 2017- 2026, the slowest of the major payers, reflecting low enrollment growth and downward pressure on utilization growth influenced by: i) lagged impact of slowing growth in income in 2016 and 2017, ii) increasing prevalence of high-deductible health plans, and iii) to a lesser extent, repeal of the penalty associated with individual mandate.

Personal healthcare spending: Over 2017-2026, growth in personal healthcare spending is projected to average 5.5 percent. Among the factors, personal healthcare price growth is anticipated to be the largest factor at 2.5 percentage points, growth in the use and intensity of goods and services is expected to contribute 1.7 percentage points of total growth, and population growth (0.9 percentage point) and changing demographics (0.5 percentage point) account for the remaining growth.

Insured share of the population: The proportion of the population with health insurance is projected to decrease from 91.1 percent in 2016 to 89.3 percent in 2026, due in part to the elimination of the penalty payments associated with the individual mandate and also to a continuation of a downward trend in the offering and take-up of employer-sponsored health insurance.

More information:


News & Notes

Revenue Cycle Trends to Watch in 2018

Medicare alternative payment models, value-based care and hospital mergers are among the top revenue cycle trends to watch in 2018, according to Providers are still in the midst of the transition to value-based care and the strategies for turning away from fee-for-service may continue to change in 2018. This transition will help providers attract patients through affordable, high-quality care in alternative payment models.


CMS Announces New Voluntary Bundled Payment Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced the launch of a new voluntary bundled payment model in January. “Under traditional fee-for-service payment, Medicare pays providers for each individual service they perform.  Under this bundled payment model, participants can earn additional payment if all expenditures for a beneficiary’s episode of care are under a spending target that factors in quality,” according to CMS.


We Want to Hear from You

Pulse is published for ACA healthcare collection agencies to provide current industry information for healthcare providers. ACA International welcomes article ideas and submissions for consideration in Pulse. Ideas may be submitted to ACA’s Communications Department at

Millennials Lag in Paying Medical Bills

Millennials Lag in Paying Medical Bills

Millennials are paying their medical bills at a slower rate than other generations, such as Gen X and Baby Boomers, according to research from TransUnion’s Healthcare Millennial Report.  “Despite the vast majority of Millennials having health insurance, they tend to pay their medical bills at a slower rate than other generations,” according to a news release on the report. “In fact, in 2016, 74 percent of Millennials did not pay their medical bills in full, compared to 68 percent for Gen X and 60 percent for Baby Boomers. 

Yet, seven in 10 Millennials said they would pay their medical bills in full if they had the money to do so.” TransUnion also found that 57 percent of Millennials have “little to no understanding of their health insurance benefits. This is significantly lower than other generations, including Gen X (50 percent) and Baby Boomers (42 percent).”

“Millennials are facing a tough road—in some ways they were placed at an early disadvantage compared to previous generations. As Millennials were just entering the workforce and likely had less disposable income, both insurers and employers began cost-shifting payments,” Jonathan Wiik, principal of Healthcare Strategy at TransUnion Healthcare, said in the news release.

“Despite these challenges, our research indicates that Millennials are indeed interested in responsibly paying their medical debts, while at the same time, healthcare providers will need to get innovative to make the payment process more manageable for Millennials.”

According to the report, including TransUnion healthcare data and information from an October 2017 survey of 1,576 consumers, about half of Millennials (46 percent) would be more likely to pay their medical bills if they had an estimate of their healthcare costs at the time of service with their healthcare provider.

“Healthcare providers looking to improve cash flow from Millennial patients should look for ways to encourage payments at the time of service while offering more educational tools to ensure they better understand the complex healthcare landscape,” John Yount, vice president for Healthcare Solutions at TransUnion, said in the news release. Additional findings from the TransUnion Healthcare report include:

35 percent of Millennials do not plan for medical or healthcare expenses as part of their budget.

51 percent of Millennials do not feel prepared to manage healthcare/medical expenses; compared to 42 percent of Gen-Xers and 33 percent of Baby Boomers.

40 percent of Millennials compare the cost of services by healthcare provider compared to 29 percent of Gen- Xers and 22 percent of Baby Boomers.

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