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Credit, Billing, and Collection Policy for Patients In Need of Financial Aid

 

Financial Assistance Policy

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Virginia Hospital Center to provide caring healthcare services to patients 24 hours a day 7 days a week regardless of the ability to pay, doing so in an equitable manner and treating them with dignity, respect and compassion. To achieve this end, the Hospital has established a specific program to aid uninsured patients in paying for hospital services. Patients whose household income falls within 200% of the published federal poverty guidelines are provided free care.

Definitions

  1. "Financial Assistance" means inpatient and outpatient medical treatment and diagnostic services for uninsured or underinsured patients who cannot afford to pay for the care according to established Hospital guidelines. Such treatment is provided by this Hospital without expectation of payment. Financial Assistance does not include bad debt or contractual shortfalls from government programs but may include insurance co-payments or deductibles, or both. IT ALSO DOES NOT INCLUDE PHYSICIAN CHARGES SUCH AS EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, ANESTHESIOLOGISTS, HOSPITALISTS, RADIOLOGISTS, PATHOLOGISTS AND OTHER PHYSICIANS THAT ACT AS PRIVATE CONTRACTORS. Under no circumstances will a patient believed to be eligible for Financial Assistance be issued a bill.

  2. "Bad Debt" is defined as expenses resulting from treatment for services provided to a patient and/or guarantor who, having the requisite financial resources to pay for health care services, has demonstrated by his/her actions an unwillingness to comply with the contractual arrangements to resolve a bill.

Determination of Eligibility

If complete information on the patient's insurance or financial situation is unavailable at the time of service, or if the patient's financial condition changes, the designation of Financial Assistance may be made after rendering services. All efforts will be made to establish whether the patient is eligible for Financial Assistance before the patient leaves the Hospital.

If a patient qualifies for the hospital assistance program, the entire balance of his/her account will be written off. Any items that are for personal comfort and not medically necessary, such as guest trays, special meals, movies, or internet access will be charged to the patient.  THIS PROGRAM DOES NOT INCLUDE PHYSICIAN CHARGES SUCH AS EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, ANESTHESIOLOGISTS, HOSPITALISTS, RADIOLOGISTS, PATHOLOGISTS AND OTHER PHYSICIANS THAT ACT AS PRIVATE CONTRACTORS. IF YOU RECEIVE A PHYSICIAN BILL, YOU MUST CONTACT THEIR OFFICE TO DISCUSS THEIR TERMS OF PAYMENT.

Procedures

Upon receipt of a completed financial profile and applicable documentation, the Special Projects Coordinator will compare the information to the HHS Poverty Guidelines. If the patient's income and household falls within the 100% of the Guidelines, the account will be written-off to Indigent Care.

If the patient's income and household falls within 200% of the published Guidelines, the account will be written off to the Hospital Charity.

If the patient does not provide the necessary documentation, the account will be handled as a self pay account.

Patient Notice of Financial Aid

Virginia Hospital Center is proud of its not-for-profit mission to provide quality healthcare to all who need it.

If you do not have health insurance and worry that you may not be able to pay in full for your care, we may be able to help. Virginia Hospital Center provides financial assistance to patients based on their income, family size, and needs. In addition, we may be able to help you arrange a manageable payment plan.

It is important that you let us know if you will have trouble paying your bill. Federal and State laws require all hospitals to seek full payment of what they bill patients. This means we may have to turn unpaid bills over to a collection agency, which could affect your credit status.

Policy

To promulgate the policy/procedures for the administration of credit, billing and collections for patients in need of financial aid by Virginia Hospital Center.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Virginia Hospital Center to provide caring healthcare services to patients 24 hours a day 7 days a week regardless the ability to pay. To achieve this end, the Hospital has established specific resources for all patients in need of financial aid.

It is also the policy for Virginia Hospital Center to provide financial aid for those in the community who do not have insurance and who otherwise do not have the means to pay for all or a portion of necessary medical care. Consistent with these policies, the Hospital has established specific programs and allocated resources to assist patients who are determined to need financial aid.

Principles

The Hospital is working to ensure that persons who are uninsured and underinsured and who have need of financial receive quality medical care. For example:

  1. Any person who presents to the Emergency Room will be provided with a medical screening and appropriate care regardless of ability to pay.

  2. Financial Assistance Provision.
    All Patients who may meet the requirements for financial aid established by the Hospital will be provided with an application upon admission, or as soon thereafter as medically feasible. The determination of whether the patient qualifies for financial aid will be made as soon as possible and, to the extent possible, prior to discharge. All reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that persons qualifying for financial aid will not be billed for medical care.

  3. Non-discrimination.
    This Hospital shall render services to all members of the community who are in need of medical care regardless of their ability to pay for such services. The determination of full or partial financial aid will be based on the patient's ability to pay and will not be affected by the patient's age, sex, race, creed, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin.

  4. Financial Aid Services.
    All available health care services, whether inpatient or outpatient, shall be available to all individuals under this policy.

  5. The Hospital provides routine diagnostic services at no charge on provision of Arlington Free Clinic referral. Free Clinic patients with non-urgent major diagnostic or treatment needs are assisted consistent with this policy.

  6. In-house financial counselors and Arlington County employees that assist all patients in applying for County, State and Federal assistance programs. Those included are not limited to Medicaid, Emergency Medicaid, SSI Disability, and SLH.

  7. The charity program provides free care to patients that fall under 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines income and family levels. The income level needed to qualify is recalculated annually to reflect new HHS Poverty levels as published by the Federal Register.

  8. The Hospital provides negotiated payment plans.

  9. The Hospital provides to all patients that are self pay an allowance on their hospital charges that approximates the average contract rate paid by commercial HMO/PPO payers.

  10. Discounted services to underserved citizens in Arlington County through numerous Arlington County agencies.

Self Pay Policy

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Virginia Hospital Center to provide caring healthcare services to patients 24 hours a day 7 days a week regardless of the ability to pay. To achieve this end, the Hospital has established a specific program to help uninsured patients pay for hospital services.

Principles

Virginia Hospital Center established the self pay allowance program for in and out patients who do not have insurance. This represents a similar discount provided to managed care patients. . This program does not apply to physician charges such as emergency department, hospitalists, radiologists, pathologists and other physicians that act as private contractors, nor does it include patients that fall into other special pricing programs. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Special OB program
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • County programs, i.e. McGowan Breast Fund
  • Employee discount program
  • Arlington Free Clinic
  • Base charge for clinic visits
  • Radiology screening exams

Procedures

  1. Information concerning this program shall be posted in all registration areas. Registration staff will assist patients with questions about the program.
  2. The self pay patient will be asked to make a deposit on all non-emergent procedures and informed of all available programs.
  3. After the procedure is complete and the patient discharged, the patient will receive a statement showing total charges less the applicable self pay allowance.
  4. Payment is due in 30 days. However, the patient will receive monthly statements for 120 days. If the patient fails to contact the hospital to set up acceptable payment terms, the account will be transferred to a professional collection agency. The agency will make attempts to collect the debt for 6 months without recording the delinquent debt to a credit reporting agency (subject to the limitations and procedures of this policy).
  5. If it is determined that the account qualifies for a charity program, the adjustment will be added back to the balance and written off to the appropriate charity GL.
  6. If the patient wishes to make payment arrangements and provides reasonable evidence he/she does not have the resources to pay the account in full, the following guidelines will apply:
  7. Balance less than $25: due within 30 days of service
    $26 to $1000 : $50 per month with 6 month maximum
    $1001 to $2000 : $75 per month with one year maximum
    $2001 to $5000 : $100 per month with two year maximum
    $5001 UP : $100 per month with four year maximum
    * Prior manager approval must be obtained on all arrangements exceeding $5,000 and/or those not conforming to these guidelines.

For more information, please contact our financial counseling office at 703.558.2492. We will treat you and your questions with courtesy, respect and with the utmost confidentiality.
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1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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