For Tenet Healthcare Corp., collecting on debts is far more profitable than trying to cure sick people.
A feature in Bloomberg BusinessWeek delves into how Tenet is selling hospitals because they aren’t profitable, but keeping those facilities as clients of Conifer, a revenue cycle management company, which has profit margins that are twice as high as hospitals.
The article uses the story of a Florida woman, who accrued more than $100,000 in debt and has been turned down for three jobs because of her outstanding bills.
Said the woman: “I’m very grateful that you saved my life. But does our health care have to decimate us financially? It’s destroying me.”
The debts are being collected by Conifer, which is now collecting for more than 700 hospitals nationwide. Conifer employed more than 15,000 individuals at the end of last year, and accounts for 5% of Tenet’s $1.6 billion on total revenue.
Revenue cycle management is a $24 billion industry, according to the report, and healthcare facilities “ca’t afford” not to be good at collecting, an industry consultant said.