Financial Assistance Program
At Asante, our mission to provide quality healthcare in a compassionate manner involves much more than the treatment of illness or injury.
At a time when their focus should be on healing, many patients are concerned with the financial challenges of healthcare. The Asante Financial Assistance Program offers financial support and guidance to our patients who may not have the means to pay for all of their medical expenses. By identifying affordable payment options and reduced fees, Asante’s Financial Assistance Program allows our patients to concentrate on what is most important: their health.
Asante’s multifaceted Financial Assistance Program consists of the following elements:
- Discounted charges for patients without insurance coverage
- Discounts for deposits made prior to service (up-front payments)
- Discounts for prompt payment of full balance
- Sliding-scale discounts based on federal poverty levels up to and including free care
- Financial counseling, payment plans, and other payment options
- Referrals to healthcare program eligibility staff for assessment and assistance with enrolling in government assistance programs
Financial Assistance Program Awareness
- The Financial Assistance Program is advertised on every patient billing statement as “Asante Health System offers financial assistance to those who need help paying their bill. If you have questions about your bill or financial assistance, please contact Patient Accounts at (888) 703-8384."
- Asante also advertises the Financial Assistance Program on our website and with posters and brochures displayed at Patient Registration of each hospital.
- Financial Assistance Applications are distributed by healthcare program eligibility staff; patients are contacted during and/or after their hospital encounter.
Services Covered by Financial Assistance Program
- Financial Assistance is available for services and procedures which would be covered by the Oregon Division of Medical Assistance Programs (Oregon Medicaid). In addition, Financial Assistance is available for cancer diagnoses, high acuity Emergency Department services, and related visits to an eligible episode of illness whether or not the services are covered by Oregon Medicaid.
- Financial assistance applies to services rendered by Asante facilities; not to independent physician/practitioner/provider bills. Independent physicians include hospitalists, radiologists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and other specialists.
- If applying for financial assistance for nonemergency services, you must be a resident of Jackson, Josephine, Curry, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Del Norte, Siskiyou, or Modoc County. There is no residency requirement for emergency care.
- Asante’s hospitals provide emergency care services pursuant to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) regardless of a patient’s insurance or financial status. Discounts for emergency services are determined after EMTALA obligations are met.
- For uninsured patients who do not qualify for sliding-scale discounts based on federal poverty levels, Asante will discount their balance similar to the average contractual discount given to patients with commercial insurance.
Financial Assistance Determination Process
- Financial Assistance Applications are given to any patient requesting assistance.
- Patient Registration and healthcare program eligibility staff will screen patients to best match each individual with government eligibility programs.
- For patients yet to qualify for government eligibility programs and for those without insurance, including self-employed patients, Patient Registration will use electronic resources to identify patients’ need for financial assistance at the time of registration. This resource is reflected as a private inquiry on the patient's credit report known only to the patient and not part of the public credit report and therefore, will not impact credit scores.
- Patient Registration may offer up-front approval on an initial account, followed by a request for completion of the Financial Assistance Application to receive assistance with future visits for up to six months.
- If there is any indication that a patient will have difficulty paying his or her bill, a Financial Assistance Application is given or sent to the patient to complete and return to the Business Office, which will determine if all or a part of the bill will be discounted.
- Upon receipt of the application, the Business Office staff will review a patient’s qualifications for sliding-scale discounts.
- When reviewing qualifications, the Business Office considers total family gross income and accounts for such circumstances as other debt, the family’s assets (excluding 50 percent of the net value of the principal residence), number of dependants, whether the bill is greater than one time the family’s annual salary, and other unusual circumstances, including significant medical debt and catastrophic events.
- For patients who have completed the application and supplied documentation, eligibility for financial assistance remains active, for urgent or emergent services, for six months, after which time an updated Financial Assistance Application will be required for any future debt.
- The level of eligibility is determined and communicated with the patient within 20 working days of receipt of the application. The range of eligibility includes up to 24-month interest-free payment plans and a sliding-scale account balance discount up to complete forgiveness of the hospital debt.
Discounts for Deposits Made Prior to Service and Full-Balance Payoff
All patients can qualify for discounts as outlined below:
||Percentage of Discount
||Prior to or on day of service
||Anytime the amount of account balance is paid in full
Payment plans are interest-free for up to 24 months. Payment plans beyond 24 months may be arranged via a qualifying loan with Asante’s financial vendor. Because of changing financial
circumstances with many families, adjustments
to payment plans may be requested at any time
during the course of paying off the debt.
Payment plans must be established as follows:
- Monthly payments of no less than $25, and
- Balances are to be paid within 24 months, and
- Pursuant to qualifying loan terms if beyond 24 months
On rare occasions Asante’s Business Office may make limited exceptions to this policy to extend financial assistance.
- Statements are mailed by day 2, once patient's balance is determined and in 30 day cycles up to 90 days on an account.
- Collection phone calls are made frequently during the 90-day period and include discussions of discount, payment plan, and financial assistance options.
- An account may be reported to the national credit bureaus when:
- No payment is received in 90 days, or
- Monthly payments that would pay the balance within 24 months are not regularly received
- After 90 days the Business Office reviews unpaid balances by using electronic resources to identify patients’ ability to pay and/or potential eligibility for financial assistance.
Balances may be discounted pursuant to this policy either with or without additional Business Office collection efforts initiated or referred to collection agencies.
- All patients are notified in their final billing statement prior to their account balance’s being referred to collection agencies.
- For further details regarding Asante’s collection practices, refer to Asante Policy 400-LD-733.