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Unbroken's avatar

Is there any data on costs/losses associated with non payers in the health care system?

Asked by Unbroken (9397 points ) December 12th, 2013

My google skills are limited and I haven’t found any data on this.

The alleged cost of non payers is a frequent argument on the rising cost of health care.

I find this hard to swallow. Never have I heard of an actual source or number. So any data, whether from one facility, the cost in a state, or per organization would be of interest to me.

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6 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

In the medical literature there are lots of articles that try to quantify the cost associated with non payers in the US health care system. Unfortunately it comes down to interpretation of statistics and as we all know there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Its often very hard to get hold of raw data and you are often left trying to make sense of other peoples statistics. Anyhoo have a look at this article from Health Affairs 2008.

tom_g's avatar

I also struggled recently to find data on this. All I could find were misc articles like this from 2006.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here is a 2013 Nov 09, NY Times article on the subject . It gives some numbers for the state of Georgia.

“A full third of Grady’s patients have no insurance, and, if that does not change, the hospital will have no choice but to cut services, said John M. Haupert, Grady’s chief executive. The hospital’s large outpatient mental health program, which handles 58,000 visits a year and is critical to keeping poor patients with behavioral problems from seeking treatment in the emergency room,...”

drhat77's avatar

the buzz words you are looking for are “self pay”, “direct pay”, and uninsured.

kritiper's avatar

The county pays the bill if you, the indigent, are unable.

Unbroken's avatar

Thanks to you all. Sorry for the delay in responding. I have been using my limited internet time for brief keeping in touch and business.

I look forward to things settling down and finding time to give this information the time it deserves.

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