With a population of over 11 million, Ohio ranks in the top ten most inhabited states in the U.S. While this statistic may seem encouraging in some aspects, it’s been devastating to the medical industry.
The uninsured rate is at an all-time high as of 2019 and is one of only eight states to see this drastic climb. An additional 58,000 people in Ohio are no longer insured, which has resulted in massive medical debt for doctors and patients alike.
Ohio Medical and Health Care Debt Collection Statistics
The Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey gathered 1,000 Ohioans to get more intel on medical debt. The cost of medical care has increased so much that some people are choosing not to seek medical help at all. 30% of those surveyed specifically put off going to the doctor. 24% skipped a recommended test or treatment and 35% struggle to pay off what medical bills they have acquired.
Even with a portion of the state population taking out loans or using credit cards to pay medical debt, there is still a lot left unpaid. These unsettled bills force medical professionals to seek out Ohio medical debt collection agencies in order to cover their necessary tools and staff costs.
Ohio Medical Debt Collection Agency Laws
In Ohio, there are a couple of laws concerning medical debt. Apart from the debt collection laws like FDCPA and HIPAA laws, a creditor (i.e. the healthcare professional or hospital) has a set amount of time they must abide by before they can pursue a debtor (i.e. the patient) for unpaid medical debt. This is known as the statute of limitations and it’s different for every state.
Ohio Revised Code section 2305.06 gives creditors permission to seek unpaid medical debt within 15 years from the default payment. This code is based on a written contract, so a medical bill can be seen under this stipulation. That means that a creditor has a window of 15 years to send their patients’ unpaid bills to an Ohio medical debt collection agency.
If a patient makes an oral agreement to repay their medical expenses, then the statute of limitations decreases significantly. In lieu of a written contract, the Ohio Revised Code section 2305.07 states that oral agreements of repayment are valid for six years. A medical provider can bring their patient to action for not paying these medical bills anytime within that six-year time frame.
How This is Effecting Medical Professionals in Ohio
The constant hunt for medical repayment has put doctors and hospitals in a tough spot. According to Injury Claim Coach, “Federal law requires Medicare-approved hospitals to provide emergency medical treatment to anyone who needs it, even when the person doesn’t have health insurance.” Instead, medical professionals have to offer repayment options or give them various ways to pay for their medical treatment.
Many medical professionals in the U.S. have suffered salary decreases from the unbalanced medical debt situation that is sweeping across the nation. This could be why more students are seeking specialty medical courses rather than primary care. Doctors in specialty fields have the leverage to earn more than primary care physicians. As a result, Ohio is in the midst of a vast primary care doctor shortage. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “by 2025, Ohio is projected to be shy 1,200 primary care physicians.”
While Ohio scrambles to get more primary care doctors, the medical debt continues to pile on. Medical professionals (primary care doctors in particular) who are in need of debt relief may do well to seek help from a medical debt collection agency in Ohio.
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