July 1, 2014

Tuesday's Number Quarterly Update

Another thirteen weeks have come and gone, and I've got the second quarter total for the Tuesday's Number series.

Before we take a look at the numbers, let's take a look at the environment:  first, we're a full quarter into the Affordable Care Act's exchange enrollment, and we know that at least here in New York, a pretty significant number of the folks who enrolled through the NY State of Health were previously uninsured.  They're getting out there, seeing doctors for their free preventative services and their follow up visits.  And that's a good thing.

I doubt that too many of those new-to-the-system folks are reflected in these numbers, since there are typically collection efforts that occur before a judgment is filed, so these numbers are more reflective of prior activities than any occurring as a direct result of an influx of patients into the system.

So how did we fare this quarter? Here are the total dollars by filing type:

  • Judgments: $6,556,305
  • Satisfied Judgments: $322,133
  • Bankruptcies: $428,161

Grand total: $7,306,689, spread out over 396 filings, for an average of $18,451 each. Here's how that compares to the past four quarters:

  • Q2 2013: 335 filings totaling $7,011,084, an average of $20,929
  • Q3 2013: 300 filings totaling $7,697,532, an average of $25,658
  • Q4 2013: 333 filings totaling $6,934,379, an average of $20,824
  • Q1 2014: 253 filings totaling $5,499,218, an average of $21,736

On the plus side, the average cost per filing is down. On the negative? Total dollars up, and the  number of filings is up as well.

We may start seeing the impact from all of the new insureds with the ACA products in the third quarter. While yes, it is a good thing that we have more people insured, when folks get past the fully covered preventative visits, their out-of-pocket costs can be significant until the high deductibles are met, and that may be a financial shock that people might not have prepared for.

It will be interesting to see which direction the numbers go over the next couple of quarters.  Anyone willing to hazard a guess?