Uninsured Patients Leave Hospitals with $73 Billion Unpaid

Uninsured patients pay only about 12 percent of their hospital bills in full and leave hospitals with unpaid portions totaling up to $73 billion per year, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Nearly two million uninsured Americans are hospitalized each year, with 58 percent of these hospital stays resulting in bills of more than $10,000, the study found. Hospital stays for which the uninsured cannot pay in full account for 95 percent of the total amount hospitals bill the uninsured. HHS said some studies estimate that the uncompensated cost of care in the U.S. was between $56 billion and $73 billion in 2008.

HIPAA Version 5010 National Testing Day

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in conjunction with the Medicare Fee For Service Program, responded to MGMA’s request and announced a National 5010 Testing Day to be held Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Practices must adopt the latest version of the HIPAA electronic transaction standards, Version 5010, by Jan. 1, 2012. These electronic transaction standards include claims, insurance eligibility verification, remittance advice and others. Practices should be taking steps now to get ready, including conducting internal and external testing with practice management system software vendors, clearinghouses and health plans.
National 5010 Testing Day is an opportunity for trading partners to work together and test compliance efforts that are already underway with the added benefit of real-time help desk support, and direct and immediate access to Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC). Your local MAC will provide more details concerning transactions to be tested soon. Several State Medicaid Agencies are expected to participate in the National 5010 testing day.
More information on HIPAA Version 5010 is available on the CMS http://www.cms.gov/and MGMA (http://www.mgma.com/)  websites.