Medical Articles & News

Delayed Medical Treatment: Understanding the Causes and Effects

January 18, 2023 by Christopher Wolfington

Have you ever delayed medical treatment due to financial or other reasons? If so, you’re not alone. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one in three Americans have avoided medical treatment due to cost. It’s important to understand that delaying needed medical care impacts not only the patient but also creates problems for their families and for employers.

Fortunately, there is a solution to help patients and employers manage the costs associated with medical care. FinPay offers an automated technology platform and uses pre-care engagement, financial literacy, and transparency to help improve the patient financial experience. Contact to learn more.

Causes and Effects of Delayed Medical Treatment

The Kaiser Family Foundation survey revealed some of the most commonly cited reasons for delaying medical care. Of those surveyed, 63 percent indicated that they could not afford the cost of treatment, while 28 percent said that their condition was not serious enough for them to seek care. Another 14 percent said that they were unable to find a healthcare provider who accepted their insurance plan. Additionally, 13 percent reported that they did not have access to transportation or time off from work/school.

While medical debt is a leading cause of delay in medical treatment, there are other causes, as well. Some other reasons why people avoid seeking needed medical care include the following:

• Fear of a diagnosis: Some patients may be fearful to proceed with medical testing due to the potential outcomes.

• Accessibility issues: Many rural and low-income areas lack access to adequate healthcare services.

• Confusing insurance information: Insurance policies can be complex and overwhelming, leading some people to opt-out of seeking medical attention.

• Lack of financial resources: High deductibles and copays can pose a significant financial burden for many patients, making it difficult to afford care.

Effects of Delayed Medical Treatment on Employers

When an employee delays necessary medical care, it can also lead to several issues for employers. Absences due to illness are one common problem; when employees do not seek timely medical attention, the severity of their condition can worsen and result in missed days at work. This can disrupt operations and negatively affect productivity and morale throughout the workplace. Delayed medical treatment can also increase disability claims and workers’ compensation costs for employers if an employee’s condition does worsen enough that they must take extended time away from work or become permanently disabled due to their untreated condition.

Physical And Psychological Effects of Delayed Medical Treatment

Delaying medical treatment has both physical and psychological effects on patients as well. Physically, individuals may experience worsening symptoms and develop new symptoms related to their existing condition if they do not receive appropriate treatments or interventions such as surgery or physical therapy when their doctor recommends. Psychologically, patients may experience feelings of guilt and shame over being unable to afford needed treatments or difficulty managing stress related to their untreated condition(s).

Financial Implications of Delaying Medical Treatment

Finally, delaying medical treatment can also have serious financial implications for patients since waiting too long before seeking help could result in more expensive treatments being necessary down the road should the patient’s condition worsen over time without proper intervention(s). In addition, failure to obtain timely treatments could put patients at risk for developing preventable complications, which would add even more expense than if they had sought assistance sooner rather than later.

Contact FinPay Today and Avoid the Effects of Delayed Medical Treatment

Many risks are associated with delaying necessary medical treatments; unfortunately, those risks disproportionately affect individuals who lack access or resources like health insurance coverage and transportation options needed to obtain care quickly when it is medically indicated.

Employers are also affected by employees who delay such treatments because of these risks, including absences due to worsening conditions resulting from a lack of timely medical care for various illnesses, injuries, or health conditions.

FinPay can offer an automated platform that utilizes pre-care engagement, financial literacy, and transparency to remove the uncertainty and opacity surrounding medical costs and collections. It is a win-win for providers and patients. Contact today for more information.

Tags: Medical, Health, Healthcare Consumer Experience

Christopher Wolfington, Founder & Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer - FinPay, is a business leader and entrepreneur with over 29 years of experience in consumer and financial services. Mr. Wolfington is currently living in Philadelphia, PA and continues to use his entrepreneurial talent to identify key opportunities and solutions in high growth markets.