Making care affordable to all, without costing you your business.
Most healthcare professionals have an ethical responsibility to offer their professional services to those who need them, even if some patients are unable to pay. Frequently, Jackson LLP hears things like this from healthcare practices:
- My patient stopped paying. Can I stop treating her?
- My patient’s insurance says she owes a huge deductible, which she can’t pay. Now I haven’t been paid for any of her visits. What recourse do I have?
- Can I send my patient to collections?
- Am I required to keep treating my patient if she can no longer afford me?
- Can I offer a significantly discounted “cash pay” rate to patients?
- Can I charge my Medicare or Medicaid patients a cash rate?
Many of these issues touch on the same problem: healthcare providers frequently experience tension between the financial needs of their practice and their patients’ medical needs. To streamline a practice’s treatment of these issues, Jackson LLP’s attorneys recommend maintaining a charity care program.
A charity care program establishes the standards by which you evaluate patients’ neediness, the frequency with which it is revisited, their responsibilities to make payments, and your recourse if they stop paying as agreed. By setting forth all parties’ rights and responsibilities immediately after the patient’s financial need is identified, it can reduce the likelihood that a patient defaults on her account and increases the chances of her completing medically-necessary treatment.
Jackson LLP’s attorneys ensure that your charity care program’s terms comply with HIPAA, Medicare or Medicaid regulations, and state telehealth / telemedicine requirements – as well as any other regulations or laws that might be implicated by your specific practice or patient populations.