Doctor reviewing top trends and statistics in medical billing.

Top Trends & Statistics in Medical Billing  

This is a transformative time for healthcare, with virtual care and other technology quickly on the rise. Medical billing statistics and data point to several new trends in the healthcare space, including the rapid adoption of healthcare billing technology and a shift to virtual payment options. We’ve collected some surprising statistics about the current state of the medical billing industry so you can see how the industry is trending. 

Medical Billing Statistics  

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There are some worrying trends when it comes to medical billing stats for consumers and providers alike. Medical debt is on the rise, and half of all Americans now owe money for healthcare costs. Meanwhile, medical billing errors—many of which are caused by mistakes made while entering data by hand—affect the vast majority of bills and cost the healthcare industry over a hundred-billion dollars per year. 

  • 50% of US residents carry medical debt, an increase of 4% since 2020. (Forbes) 
  • 48% of US households had healthcare expenses in the past calendar year, and 17% experienced costs of $1,500 or more. (Aflac) 
  • The most recent data available estimates 80% of US medical bills contain errors. (Becker’s Hospital Review
  • The average hospital bill over $10,000 has $1,300 in error. (Equifax) 
  • Poor billing practices cause doctors in the US to lose an estimated $125 billion each year. (Equifax) 

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Meanwhile, financial hardships caused by economic factors have a clear impact on consumer medical spending. And even more affluent consumers were prone to avoiding care in order to save money. 

  • Average family premiums have increased 47% since 2011. This is more than the increase in wages (31%) or inflation (19%). (KFF)  
  • Some patients use payment plans for out-of-pocket expenses as low as $50. (Healthleaders Media) 
  • Only 36% of Americans earning up to $50,000 a year could cover cost-of-living expenses for more than two months. (McKinsey) 
  • Personal out-of-pocket spending averaged $1,240 in 2019, up from $115 per person in 1970. (Ibid) 
  • 20% of consumers earning more than $120,000 annually did not seek care due to cost. (Ibid) 
  • The average single deductible was $1,669 in 2021, up from $991 in 2011. (Ibid) 
  • Consumer out-of-pocket healthcare costs are estimated to reach $491.6 billion (roughly $1,650 per person) by 2025. (Kalorama) 
  • Only 20% of consumers always know what they will owe before receiving care. (Ibid) 

Medical Billing Industry Statistics  

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The medical billing industry is growing rapidly, and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon. Experts cite technological innovations—like cloud-based medical billing programs—as the reason for this explosive growth. While technology certainly provides the means for medical billing practices to improve, it is by no means the industry standard. There is still ample opportunity for early adopters to take advantage of new technologies. 

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  • The global medical billing outsourcing market is expected to grow from $2.17 billion in 2021 to $13.56 billion in 2022 and $20.98 billion in 2026. (GlobeNewswire) 
  • 77% of providers say it takes more than a month to collect payment. (Healthleaders Media) 
  • 75% of providers primarily use paper and manual processes for collections. (InstaMed) 
  • 74% of providers say it takes more than one statement to collect. (Ibid) 
  • Healthcare can save $20 billion or 48% of existing annual spend by fully adopting electronic transactions. (CAQH CORE) 
  • 91% of consumers prefer electronic payment methods for medical bills. (InstaMed) 
  • 87% of consumers want to make all of their healthcare payments in one place. (InstaMed) 

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The Hospital Price Transparency Law, adopted in 2021, was meant to help consumers navigate healthcare costs. But data shows that few healthcare providers are in compliance with the law. That, combined with worrying statistics about the number of consumers who fully understand their health plans, leads to a high number of unexpected medical bills. 

  • 29% of providers reported their primary financial concern was getting paid from payers. (InstaMed) 
  • Only 10% of providers preferred paper check from payers, and only 1% of providers preferred EFT with fees from payers. (Ibid)  
  • 87% of consumers were surprised by a medical bill in 2021. (InstaMed) 
  • 40% of all coronavirus-related claims were denied in the first ten months of 2021 (Hayes Management) 
  • 23% of consumers do not know how to look at their health plan to understand out-of-pocket costs. (Ibid) 
  • 91% of consumers do not know that hospitals are required to disclose their prices. (KFF) 
  • 83% of hospitals did not comply with at least one major requirement of the CMS price transparency rule. (JAMA) 
  • Only 21% of providers prioritize pricing transparency. (InstaMed) 

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Medical Billing and Coding Job Statistics 

Working in the medical billing and coding field looks like a promising choice. The field is growing rapidly, and would-be professionals can receive their training certifications relatively quickly. 

  • Dealing with staff shortages is the #1 concern of provider CEOs. (American College of Healthcare Executives) 
  • 73% of medical practices rank staffing as their biggest pandemic challenge, and 76% of practices have changed operations in response to shortages. (MGMA) 
  • Medical coding and billing has an 8% projected job outlook, much faster than the average. (US Bureau of Labor) 
  • Certifications in medical billing or coding can be completed in as little as four months. (American Health Information Management Association) 
  • The average salary for a medical coder and biller is $44,090 per year, or $21.20 per hour. (US Bureau of Labor) 

New Trends in Medical Billing and Coding 

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The medical coding and billing industry is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, as more hospitals and private practices replace their manual billing processes with software and technology. At the same time, the healthcare field as a whole continues to take on a new look in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with remote care (and remote billing) being top of mind for patients and providers alike. 

  • Telehealth usage has increased 38x from its pre-COVID-19 levels. (McKinsey) 
  • 50% of providers are improving telehealth options in continuing response to the pandemic. (InstaMed) 
  • 51% of providers prioritize their digital payment experience. (InstaMed) 
  • 85% of millennials would download and use a mobile app for medical bills. (Ibid) 
  • 70% of consumers receive medical bills through the mail, but only 9% want to pay those bills with paper checks. (InstaMed) 
  • 73% of consumers say they would enroll in electronic healthcare statements, but only 3% are already enrolled. (Ibid) 
  • 71% of consumers expect telehealth to be an option at least some of the time, and nearly half want it whenever possible. (InstaMed) 

Interestingly, despite strong statistical evidence that consumers want remote services—including remote payment options—a significant portion of providers doesn’t see billing as an important part of the patient experience. Meanwhile, consumers, in particular younger demographics, demonstrate a willingness to change providers in order to find a better billing experience. 

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  • 39% of providers say billing and collection have no impact on patient experience. (InstaMed) 
  • 25% of consumers have ended a transaction for a medical bill because they couldn’t pay with a credit or debit card. (Ibid) 
  • 74% of millennials (but just 27% of Baby Boomers) would switch healthcare providers for a better experience with payments. (Ibid)  
  • 49% of medical practices said that days spent in Accounts Receivable increased in 2021. (MGMA) 
  • Automated administrative practices already in place save providers an estimated $166B annually. (Ibid) 
  • Automating workflows with CollaborateMD can reduce processing time by 48%. (CPMG Case Study) 

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Medical billing and coding are in a transformative period and consumers are demanding more convenient, digital payment options. If your practice is ready to embrace the future, CollaborateMD can help. You won’t just make your customers happier—you’ll save money by improving efficiency and replacing your paper-based processes. 

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