02 Dec How a surgical outcome warranty is helping households cope with healthcare costs.
While more Americans than ever have health insurance, many still lack the financial means to pay for a serious healthcare event or emergency. Thanks to various policy changes and the more widespread availability of coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the average American has access to preventative healthcare, but medical debt remains a pervasive issue that can drive families to financial ruin.
Fortunately, one of the overriding goals of Marvel Group is to balance the needs of their patients with their ability to pay. Through Marvel Group’s Surgical Stewardship™ program and Patient Promise™ surgical outcome warranty, surgeons can help struggling households cope with ever-increasing medical care costs.
America’s Ongoing Challenges with Healthcare Costs
Healthcare costs continue to be a top financial worry for U.S. families. So much so that the cost of care factors into decisions about what type of healthcare coverage to purchase and when to seek care, if at all.
Americans Going Without Care
According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), about four in ten U.S. adults say they have gone without medical care or delayed seeking care in the last year due to cost. About one-quarter of adults admit that they or a household member have skipped medication doses, cut pills in half, or not filled prescriptions at all in the last year because of cost concerns.
Unaffordable Out-of-Pocket Costs
Even when a family carries health insurance, the out-of-pocket costs can be significant and a barrier to care. According to the U.S. Office of Health Policy, roughly 92 percent of people who enrolled in plans on HealthCare.gov in 2021 chose either the bronze or silver-level plans. The deductible, which is the set amount consumers must pay towards their medical costs before insurance begins paying, ranges from $530 to $3100 for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) plans and $4,500 to $6,000 for non-CSR plans on average.
The Rise in Medical Debt
When someone is suffering from constant pain and discomfort, the fear of going into debt can make a tough situation even worse. But it’s a stark reality for too many people.
Millions of Americans are now struggling to pay their medical bills. According to data recently released by Debt.com, nearly half of Americans now carry some type of medical debt. Because of inflation, over a quarter of respondents are skipping out on care because of their debt and struggling to pay for basic needs like prescriptions and office visits.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), people in the United States owe at least $195 billion in medical debt. Roughly 16 million people in the U.S. owe over $1,000 in medical debt, and 3 million people owe more than $10,000.
People with complex health issues, like spinal cord injuries and conditions, often find that their medical bills pile up over time. Fortunately, some medical providers are now thinking outside the box to come up with ways to help patients avoid overwhelming debt.
Surgical Stewardship™ to Improve Overall Results
No patient plans to ever need spinal surgery. When such a need arises, patients want access to the best care possible so they can resume their normal activities and not have to worry about additional care and expenses. With this in mind, Marvel Group – a value-added medical device company – developed a program called Surgical Stewardship™ to help patients make connections with spine surgeons who can deliver the best possible outcomes.
One of the most important components of Marvel Group’s Surgical Stewardship program is a surgical outcome warranty they call the Patient Promise™. Spine surgeons who participate in the Surgical Stewardship program can offer their surgery patients this surgical outcome warranty, which will pay them up to $5,000 to cover their out-of-pocket costs if follow-up surgery is required within 365 days after their initial procedure.
This guarantee offers patients peace of mind knowing they won’t have to face even more out-of-pocket costs should an unexplained complication occur. For many patients, having to pay these costs related to another procedure could spell financial disaster.
Few surgeons offer this type of surgical outcome warranty, so this feature certainly sets those who do apart from other spine surgeons in their area.
Medical debt and rising health costs remain persistent problems even among patients with insurance coverage. No provider wants to see a patient delay or forgo needed care to safeguard their financial well-being. Fortunately, the Surgical Stewardship program developed by Marvel Group helps patients and their spine surgeons achieve the best outcomes possible through an elevated level of care.