We all know the risks associated with self-pay patient accounts. The cost to collect is up to three times higher than on commercial insurance accounts, and the longer a self-pay balance goes unpaid, the lower the probability you will ever collect. The reality is, these problems are here to stay because of rising health care costs and more high-deductible, consumer-driven health care insurance plans. It’s now common for hospitals to see patients with annual deductibles anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000— quite a burden for many people. You’ve probably heard the statistic that nearly half of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 to pay for an emergency expense without borrowing money or selling something.Unfortunately, some people wouldn’t be able to get the money at all.