Here are some of my favorite examples of hospitals that have clearly stated their discount policies online.
1. http://www.unionhospital.org/financial-assistance.asp — Union Hospital in Dover, OH
Look at their rates. 30% discount for self pay, PLUS another 20% if you pay same day (like for tests), or 15% discount if paid within 30 days. So you could get a 45-50% discount straight off the bat, that’s incredible. No questioning or wondering what they’ll offer, it’s right there for all to see.
2. http://www.huntingtonhospital.com/Pricing/SelfPay.aspx — Huntington Hospital, Pasadena, CA
This place will charge 110% of medicare pricing for inpatient costs, which means 10% over whatever medicare would reimburse them for. That’s impressive, because medicare reimbursement rates are low, too low sometimes. For outpatient costs they will charge 35% of expected costs, which means effectively a 65% discount if I’m reading that correctly. To offer such a huge discount for cash patients probably means their chargemaster rates are super high, but hey, we’ll take it!
3. http://www.sjo.org/For-Patients/Billing-Insurance-and-Payment/Self-Pay-Discount-Program.aspx — St Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA
Short and sweet, cash patients get 45% off without even blinking. No forms to fill out. Just 45% off with an additional 10% for prompt pay.
None of the discounts shown above are based on income. Most hospitals have sliding scales based on your income and it’s relationship to the federal poverty level. Earlier I had found a hospital that promised discounts if your income was 700% above federal poverty levels. That means a family of 4 could earn over $100,000 a year and STILL get a discount based on income and it had nothing to do with joining medicaid.
I wish more hospitals would publish their self pay discounts and policies online. It would be so helpful when researching and also make the conversations with billing that much easier. Rest assured, your area hospital has a plan for cash patients, you will just have to ask. And there’s no problem with asking, and even asking for more. Use these hospitals as an example. 110% of medicare pricing? 65% off? Granted not all hospitals start at the same price point so it’s all kind of relative, but that 110% of medicare offer is pretty clear cut. I would take that in a heartbeat.
If your hospital is this transparent with their self pay policies, please post a comment about them here. I’d love to develop a good list that members could reference as examples.