Not a Comparative Outcome
Five percent of healthcare consumers have accounted for 50% of the expense, while the bottom 50% user incurs less than five percent of the cost. How the link between SES and high cost is understood, and effects programs targeting HCU’s is looked at by Fitzpatrick et al. (2015) to help bridge the knowledge gap.
Financial Stress and Medical Bankruptcy
As noted in Fitzpatrick et al. (2015), results in support of SES as a multi-dimensional concept which operates at various levels and supports programs with interventions of social parameters. One parameter is immigrant and ethnic concentration areas, which are influenced by barriers and cultural beliefs to access and use healthcare. The disparity and access inequity contribute to who will be an HCU. This finding is also supported by the current research, such as low SES linked to preventable hospitalizations, higher rates, and more extended stays.
Financial constraints can lead a patient to refuse or delay needed treatment, or paying for the procedure can delay other bills. Healthcare debt as a reason for bankruptcy is increasing. These issues further support the patient autonomy of deciding and full ethical disclosure, regardless of payer. Unfortunately, uninsured persons receive the same high charge, but responsible for the full payment, not a reduced or negotiated rate, and according to the most recent Health & Human Service Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, another indication of the continued failure of ACA (HHS Secretary’s Report, 2020).