Learned something new while watching ABC World News tonight with Diane Sawyer.
Seems a woman who owed a hospital $27,000 was on the verge of losing her house. With the help of an ABC investigative reporter, the woman’s bill was lowered to $7,000…allowing her to keep her home.
Non-profit hospitals (I never heard of the concept…Have you?) are required by law to publicize the fact that financial assistance is available to those in need…even folks with health insurance.
How is that possible? Government money.
Non-profits get our money. It’s only fair…they give back.
So next time you’re in a hospital, check if it’s non-profit.
If it is…look for some kind of public notification which indicates the hospital is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act‘s financial assistance requirements.
The ACA directs the IRS to establish Section 501 ( r ) of the Internal Revenue Code to implement new community benefit rules for hospitals that are subsidized through the federal tax exemption. These new rules are currently in effect and require that hospitals do the following:
1. Establish written financial assistance policies describing who is eligible for free or reduced cost care and publicize them to patients and the community.
2. Refrain from extraordinary collections actions against patients before screening them to determine whether they qualify for financial assistance.
3. Limit fees charged to patients eligible for financial assistance to rates paid by Medicare or the lowest amounts paid by insured patients.
4. Conduct a regular community health needs assessment and implement a plan to address selected needs.
(An excerpt from http://blog.credit.com/2012/05/how-obamacare-keeps-debt-collectors-out-of-hospitals/ )
I wonder how many know about this ???
I’m certain not many, that’s why I posted about it. I didn’t know, and the hospital we use is a non-profit…Swedish Hospital and Medical Center. It is a relatively new and grandiose facility, i.e shops and eateries, a fireplace and a baby grand in the expansive lobby, not to mention a Starbuck’s. After looking at their website, I can see that they must receive government funding. They offer numerous community-type programs. I’m not sure, however, if they’re free to the public or if there’s a fee. Even with Uncle Sam’s help I understand the facility is losing money. Go figure…
thanks for visiting and commenting…hugs! 🙂