The Healthcare Financial Management Association, Westchester, Ill., released a sample charity-care policy as not-for-profit hospitals prepare for more detailed disclosure to the IRS of free care and other subsidized services. The sample policy defines charity care as costs for services that are never expected to result in cash inflows. Patients eligible for such aid are the uninsured, underinsured, ineligible for a government program, or otherwise unable to pay, for medically necessary care based on their individual financial situation, the policy said. Methods for determining need may include an application; credit scoring or other publicly available information; an assessment of assets; and prior payment history. Hospitals may presume patients are eligible in some cases using alternative criteria, including homelessness or aid from a homeless clinic; low-income housing; or state-subsidized aid programs, such as food stamp or subsidized school lunch eligibility. In such presumed cases, the only discount that can be granted is a 100% write-off of the account balance. The sample policy did not set financial thresholds for patients charity-care eligibility.
Late News: HFMA offers charity-care policy for not-for-profits
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