Making care affordable to all, without costing you your business.
Most healthcare professionals have an ethical responsibility to offer their professional services to those who need them, even if some patients are unable to pay. Frequently, Jackson LLP hears things like this from a healthcare provider:
- My patient stopped paying. Can I stop treating her?
- My patient’s insurance says she owes a huge deductible, which she can’t pay. Now I haven’t been paid for any of her visits. What recourse do I have?
- Can I send my patient to collections?
- Am I required to keep treating my patient if she can no longer afford me?
- Can I offer a significantly discounted “cash pay” rate to patients?
- Can I charge my Medicare or Medicaid patients a cash rate?
Many of these issues touch on the same problem: healthcare providers frequently experience a tension between the financial needs of their practice and their patients’ medical needs. To streamline a practice’s treatment of these issues, Jackson LLP’s attorneys recommend maintaining a charity care program. Your program will set forth the standards by which you evaluate patients’ neediness, the frequency with which it is revisited, their responsibilities to make payments, and your recourse if they stop paying as agreed. By setting forth all parties’ rights and responsibilities immediately after the patient’s financial need is identified, it can reduce the likelihood that a patient defaults on her account and increases the chances of her completing medically-necessary treatment.
Jackson LLP’s attorneys ensure that your charity care program’s terms comply with HIPAA, Medicare or Medicaid regulations, and state telehealth / telemedicine requirements – as well as any other regulations or laws that might be implicated by your specific practice or patient populations.
Sanctuary programs for welcoming practices
Sanctuary programs are most prevalent in immigrant-dense communities. They are often described on a practice’s or provider’s website to promise potential patients that they neither collect nor report patients’ immigration status to law enforcement. While such programs dovetail with a practice’s HIPAA compliance plan, they also require our attorneys to evaluate whether such programs might contravene local or state professional or business licensure schemes.
Our law firm is proud to maintain all three locations in so-called sanctuary cities: Chicago, Evanston, and Madison. We believe that healthcare is a right that should be available to all, regardless of nationality, creed, or immigration status. We enjoy the chance to work with like-minded healthcare providers trying to communicate to their communities that their doors are open to all.
Read a Jackson LLP blog post about how threatened federal funding cuts to sanctuary cities will hurt patients. And if you’re ready to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, click the button below.