Self-Pay Patient Financial Liability: A Hospital's Biggest Post-Election Challenge

Guidehouse advisor Jeff Goldsmith, Ph.D. via hfma Magazine

During his election campaign, president Donald Trump indicated that his administration would be committed to two major objectives: repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and “empowering” patients to manage their own health through health savings accounts (HSAs). It seems that the president and Congress are already taking steps toward accomplishing the first of these objectives, but action toward the second is yet to be seen. In combination, these objectives have a highly likely consequence for hospitals and health systems: a significant shift in the burden of healthcare costs directly onto patients, potentially compromising providers’ cash flow. 

No one today can envision what “repealing and replacing” the ACA means operationally. However, a major consequence of repealing the law with only partial replacement may be to increase the number of people without health insurance. 

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