State law requires all hospitals provide charity care to help families that struggle with large hospital bills as a result of significant injuries and illnesses. In the past, each hospital developed its own, slightly different process to inform patients and determine if a patient qualified. The variation in notice and forms made it harder for patients to know about and receive financial assistance.
To create a common standard, WSHA convened hospital patient services and finance experts. They worked to develop an application form and process to meet hospitals’ needs, the legislator’s goals, and most importantly, the needs of patients. The standard application uses a streamlined set of questions to enable hospitals to evaluate each patient’s eligibility for charity care. The standard communication plan ensures there is good information available so patients and the community know about the availability charity care.
As a result of that work, 88 of the state’s 92 community hospitals are now using the common form and communication plan, or are in the process of adopting. Click here to read more. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)