MetroHealth System, Cleveland, said that it will enforce an upfront $150 payment for outpatient care to uninsured patients living outside Cuyahoga County. County-owned MetroHealth, which operates 10 outpatient facilities, said in a memo to employees that non-Cuyahoga residents who are financially capable of paying at least part of their medical bills, but refuse to do so account for 20% of its bad debt. New technology and budget pressure prompted the move, said Eileen Korey, a MetroHealth spokeswoman.
Newly acquired software allows the hospital to better identify patients residence and assets, she said. Were looking at all of our procedures because were facing an $8 million shortfall, Korey said.
In mid-May, MetroHealth said it would cut 1% of its payroll, or 73 full-time jobs, to help save $17 million. In a February report by ratings agency Moodys Investors Service, analysts said MetroHealth relied heavily on county and state aid to support a high Medicaid and indigent patient load with growing Medicaid and self-pay accounting for 48% of gross patient revenue." -- by Melanie Evans