UVA Health revises billing policies, will release liens and judgements under certain criteria
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - After facing backlash for many months over its billing policies, UVA Health is revising many of its financial practices.
UVA Health announced Monday, April 19, it will release all liens and judgments for patients who are at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. That means anyone who is part of a family of four and makes $106,000 or less qualifies under this policy.
In September 2019, UVA created a new advisory council to make suggestions and draw up more fair and equitable policies. For the past year and a half, that team has been diving deep into various solutions.
“We have been very deliberate in studying this. We did not take it lightly, and we committed to fixing it. I think we’ve absolutely hit a home run here,” UVA Health Chief Financial Officer Doug Lischke said. “We feel that it is on par, better than most health systems, and we’re proud of that.”
UVA Health says it also developed a policy for catastrophic care to ensure public access to emergency services.
“It says if you have a bill that’s $10,000 or greater, the maximum out of pocket would be 25% of your income plus your assets. So that was a good add as well,” Lischke said.
4/19/21 Release from UVA Health:
Today, UVA Health announced new billing policies and practices that reflect fair and financially responsible guidelines based upon a patient’s ability to pay.
Under the new billing practices, UVA Health will release all liens and judgments for patients who are at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. For example, a patient that is part of a family of four who makes $106,000 or less qualifies under this policy.
“We are committed to providing high-quality, compassionate care to all community members and these new policies and practices uphold our commitment,” said Douglas E. Lischke, UVA Health’s chief financial officer.
The policies announced today were developed following consultation with a local Community Advisory Council empaneled to ensure the local community was represented as part of policy decision-making. In addition, a study of national hospital peers’ billing and collections practices for low-income, under-insured and uninsured patients was also conducted to help inform final policies. These policies build upon previous changes to UVA’s billing and collections policies instituted in January of 2020.
In addition to forgiving liens and judgments of patients meeting the required criteria, an Ombudsperson’s office will be established to help patients navigate payment options and to ensure a fair, impartial assessment of individual cases. UVA Health has also developed a policy for catastrophic care to ensure public access to emergency services.
A commitment to proactively help patients navigate payment options for medically necessary care is also part of UVA’s new billing and collection practices. UVA is evolving its clinical scheduling and intake process to better assist patients with the financial navigation of their healthcare journey. In addition, the financial assistance application has been re-designed to be more clear and understandable.
Additional information about the new policies and available financial assistance for patients is available at UVA Health’s website.
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