The impact of our current economy on a patient’s ability to pay
South Africans have been on the receiving end of an onslaught of price hikes over the last few years. A steady decline in the economy, sharp increases in electricity tariffs, continual spikes in the petrol price, increases in personal income tax and the rising cost of living have meant the consumer pocket is being stretched now more than ever. Coupled with political instability and uncertainty around this year’s elections, consumer confidence has dropped to its lowest reading since 2017.
The share of the pie is getting smaller for everyone, including medical practitioners. Patients are finding it more difficult to make co-payments. Practices are spending valuable time, money and resources on collecting patient payments. And in the value-based model planned under NHI, medical practices that haven’t yet come up with a plan to manage bad debt now and in the long term, are urged to do so.
It goes without saying that bad debt is bad for business, but we wanted to understand the impact of these economic factors on private practices. We analysed a sample of over 3 000 Healthbridge clients to reveal a very interesting finding.
To access these finding in our ebook: Best practices for minimising bad debt, complete your details below: