Starting in early November, MCH will be instituting a new discharge procedure in the Emergency Department to offer patients the opportunity to pay their co-pay or deposit amount before they leave.
“Our new procedure will make it easier for patients to understand their financial responsibility for emergency services,” said Deb Allender, Patient Access Manager. “This is a common discharge procedure used by hospitals across the country.”
Currently the discharge procedure at the MCH Emergency Department includes an opportunity for patients to speak to a nurse about any instructions for home care, but does not give them the opportunity to speak to someone about payment for their visit. A financial statement is mailed to the patient with this information.
“Similar to a visit to a family doctor or an urgent care, a co-pay is usually owed when making a visit to the Emergency Department,” said Deb. “Now, patients will be given an opportunity to pay their co-pay before leaving.”
This new discharge procedure will also give patients the opportunity to speak to a MCH Financial Counselor. Patients can ask questions about payment options and financial assistance programs designed to help those with little or no health insurance.
“MCH has many financial assistance programs, but people don’t always know about them,” said Mike Browning, Chief Financial Officer at MCH. “I think this new discharge procedure will be a great service to our patients.”
The new procedure will only apply to patients who are discharged from the Emergency Department, not any patients who are transferred to another facility or admitted to MCH.
“Madison County Hospital is dedicated to providing quality health care to our community members, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Fred Kolb, CEO at MCH. “However, like all hospitals, we cannot keep our doors open without adequate reimbursement for our services. This new Emergency Department discharge procedure will not only help our hospital continue to care for the community but will give our patients the opportunity to speak to someone about their financial options and responsibilities.”