Helping patients with financing for medical debt
Hospitals should have a financial communications plan in place and start that discussion with patients in advance of services, whenever possible. The Affordable Care Act requires not-for-profit hospitals to determine a patient’s eligibility for financial assistance before engaging in “extraordinary collection practices.”
Providers should disclose any financial relationships with lending institutions, such as paid endorsements from medical credit card companies.
Hospitals should clearly communicate the interest rate, fees and penalties associated with payment plans they offer.
Providers should notify consumers at what point their account might be turned over to a collection agency.