What physicians do when patients can't pay their bills

More than half of physicians continue to treat patients and develop a payment plan when patients cannot pay their bills, according to Medscape's "Physician Compensation Report" for 2023.

Medscape surveyed 10,011 physicians across more than 29 specialties about their income, work hours, job satisfaction and more from Oct. 7, 2022, to Jan. 17, 2023.

Here is how physicians deal with patients who cannot pay their bills:

  • Continue to treat them and develop a payment plan: 55 percent
  • Write off balance one time and continue treating: 14 percent
  • After several attempts to get paid, drop them as patients and use a collection agency: 12 percent
  • Write off balance repeatedly and continue treating: 10 percent
  • Drop them as a patient after making several efforts to get paid: 7 percent
  • Other: 17 percent

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