High Deductibles Harming Patients and Providers in Rural Areas

Kaiser Health News reports that high deductibles are contributing to the rural hospital closure crisis. Due to the high deductibles, patients avoid seeking primary care services that could solve minor problems before they devolve into major health issues with much higher costs. If patients can’t afford to cover deductibles, rural hospitals often don’t get paid, even as the larger urban hospitals where patients were transferred get close to full payment from the health plan. When a rural hospital doesn’t receive payment, they incur bad debt and leaves the provider in financial distress.