Financial Assistance - Charity Care
It is the policy of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital (HCMH) to assess and provide charity care assistance to those patients deemed appropriate based on their individual ability to pay.
HCMH will give uncompensated care as a community service to people who require medical care but are unable to pay. This community service will be available to all individuals residing in the service area without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed or other grounds unrelated to the individuals need for the service of this facility.
Policy and Procedure
Uncompensated care may be given in full or in part based on the applicant's ability to pay in relation to federal poverty level guidelines. Criteria for uncompensated care will be based on a scale of 100 percent to 200 percent of the annual federal poverty levels. This scale is established to meet the needs of those applicants whose income is not low enough but qualify based on individual or unusual circumstances, such as excessive medical bills, long-term illness, Medicaid spend-downs, inadequate health care coverage, Medicaid deductibles or their income is so low that payment of the medical bill would seriously hinder their ability to pay for their basic necessities of life.
Every applicant will be assessed individually and the information in the application will remain valid for a period of six months unless there is a significant change in the applicant's status.
This policy will be updated yearly to reflect current poverty levels. These levels are published annually (in February) in the Federal Register.
Any person requiring medical care may request a determination of eligibility for uncompensated care prior to the service, after the service is provided or even after the collection action has begun (unless the account is moved to bad debt status, at which time the account will not be considered for uncompensated care), however, the hospital reserves the right to require proof of need. This requirement will be proof of income or assets, as well as denials from public aid applications prior to a decision for uncompensated care. In addition, the hospital may require child care or child support payments, paycheck stubs, unemployment checks, IRS returns or any other information that is reasonable and necessary to substantiate the applicant's income.
The hospital will give free care to Medicaid patients that we do not have a current contract with.
The hospital will give free care to expired patients without an estate.
The hospital will not consider applications for free care on elective procedures, such as cosmetic procedures that ultimately will not result in the loss of life or limb if not performed.
2017 Federal Poverty Guidelines
Family Size Income Based On Poverty Levels
Families with more than 8 persons, add $5,230 per person.
Uncompensated care will be given based on this eligibility scale.
- 100% to 150% of poverty level for family size = 100% uncompensated care
- 151% to 175% of poverty level for family size = 75% uncompensated care
- 176% to 200% of poverty level for family size = 60% uncompensated care
If an applicant does not receive 100 percent of uncompensated care, they will be required to set up payment arrangements on the remaining balance should they not be able to pay in full.
Any employee that has prior payroll deductions arranged cannot apply for uncompensated care on that balance. Uncompensated care can only be determined on current accounts for employees.
For those patients who are currently enrolled in a commercial insurance plan or any government sponsored plan, their application will be processed based on 100 percent of the poverty level income guidelines.