Kaiser, New York Times identify most problematic medical bills: 5 things to know

As consumers experience increasing financial responsibility for care costs, patients are finding it difficult to pay some of their medical bills.

A new poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and New York Times, provides a revealing snapshot of the difficulties Americans face in paying healthcare bills. The survey found both insured and uninsured patients suffered problematic medical payments for a variety of care services within the past year. The study ranks the most prevalent sources of reported medical bills, as well as those bills that presented the greatest financial burdens for patients. Below are five survey findings.

1. Of respondents facing medical payment issues, 65 percent reported problematic bills came from physician visits and diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and MRIs.

2. Nearly half indicated problems paying bills for prescription drugs (52 percent), hospitalization (49 percent) and outpatient services (49 percent).

3. Approximately 91 percent had trouble paying bills from at least two categories listed, and more than half had problems with bills from five or more different sources.

4. Respondents said emergency room visits and hospitalization fees presented the largest monetary share of problematic medical costs.

5. Nursing home and long-term care services represented both the lowest share of difficult medical bills, as well as the least difficult bill for patients to address.

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