Typical Hospitals Lack a Patient Financial Care Plan
Dan changed jobs in December and was uncertain about his new insurance coverage. His wife was admitted to the emergency room on a Saturday in February. Their insurance was verified the following Monday and his wife was discharged on Tuesday. Dan paid the $2500 deductible and the remaining balance was billed to the insurance company. Dan asked several times if he would owe for additional charges, but no one could answer his question. Five months later, Dan received a letter in the mail explaining that his insurance company had paid their portion and that he now had a balance due of $3500 to the hospital.
This put Dan and his family under stress. They had just taken a family vacation and were unable to pay the full amount to the hospital right away. Dan contacted the hospital to ask why there was a delay in notifying him of his obligation five months after service and what options were available. The hospital offered a six month payment plan which Dan accepted. He was disappointed with the hospital’s business practices and would have altered his vacation plans so he could pay the hospital if he had been informed sooner.
Hospitals Partnering with PatientMatters Have a Patient Financial Care Plan
This is how Dan’s story would change had the hospital partnered with PatientMatters. Dan and his wife arrived at the hospital via ambulance on Saturday. After his wife was comfortable in the Emergency Department, a registrar met with them both to explain their coverage (copays, deductibles and co-insurance). Dan and his wife received a patient estimate of what they might owe. They discussed their options for paying their portion of the bill. Dan had the cash, but was interested to learn that if they couldn’t pay the full amount, they could set up a payment plan or possibly qualify for a 0% interest loan. Paying by credit card at the time of service got Dan and his wife a 10% discount off their total bill. Dan was relieved to know that he could depend on the hospital and there wouldn’t be surprise charges later. He also appreciated their help in furthering his understanding of his new health insurance coverage.