More than 700,000 Coloradans are without health insurance and, as a result, growing numbers are facing difficulties in paying for medical care. Centura Health believes that hospitals should have the ability to offer discounts to those who are unable to obtain insurance and do not meet charity care criteria. It is the policy of Centura Health to provide uninsured patients with discounted rates for all hospital bills.
The discount is applied to all hospital inpatient , outpatient and Emergency Room bills that have been screened and do not have third-party insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Champus, or other governmental payer programs and do not meet the Centura charity guidelines. Centura Health strives to compassionately serve uninsured patients with an understanding of the financial burdens they may face. Centura supports and advocates for meaningful and appropriate changes in legislation that improve access to affordable, quality medical care for the uninsured.
Centura Health will treat uninsured patients in the following manner:
- Uninsured patients will be treated fairly and with respect during and after treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.
- Uninsured patients will be provided with financial counseling, including assistance applying for local, state and federal health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Colorado Indigent Care Program.
- Uninsured patients will be informed of and assisted in applying for charity care available through Centura Health as appropriate.
- Centura Health utilizes a charity discount schedule that takes into account state or federal poverty guidelines to aid in the qualification of patients seeking assistance in meeting their financial obligations.
- Financial counselors will attempt to meet with all uninsured patients prior to discharge from the hospital.
- Financial counselors will use best efforts to personally contact uninsured patients before any collection activities are initiated.
- Uninsured patients that do not qualify for assistance will receive a 30 percent discount off billed charges. This will automatically be adjusted during the billing process, so that all statements and collection efforts will be based on the discounted amount.
- Centura will also offer an additional 15 percent Prompt Pay Discount for accounts paid in full within 60 days of receiving the first statement of patient liabililty.
- If at any point an alternative payment source is identified, all discounts stated in this policy will be reversed.
- A call center is available so that patients may speak to an individual who can help them with questions on their bills; the call center phone number is prominently displayed on all billing correspondence.
- Hospital-based physicians and related entities will be encouraged to follow the Centura Health Principles Regarding Uninsured Patients but this is done at their discretion.
Centura Health will not engage in the following activities:
- Centura Health will not pursue legal action for nonpayment of hospital bills against any patient who has worked with Centura to demonstrate his or her inability to pay and who is unemployed or otherwise financially unable to pay.
- Centura Health will not pursue legal action for nonpayment if the only way to collect payment would be to place a lien on the patient's home.
Centura Health always has distinguished itself from other hospitals and systems in its treatment of the uninsured:
- Centura Health hospitals will continue to treat patients in their emergency rooms without regard to the patient's ability to pay. All patients will continue to be triaged and treated as appropriate.
- Centura Health has provided numerous outreach programs to the community in its pursuit of healthy communities and constantly seeks opportunities to advance its health care ministry.
- It is not the practice of Centura Health to place a lien on a patient's home when it is the patient's only asset.
- Centura Health will continue to work for increased access and coverage for the uninsured through legislative and community activity.
- It is the practice of Centura Health not to pursue legal action for nonpayment unless it has first examined the patient's eligibility for other assistance or charity care.