Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Emergency patients to make co-payments starting Feb. 1

Great River Medical Center follows national trend
Jan 03, 2018

WEST BURLINGTON — Patients will make co-payments for Emergency Department treatment at Great River Medical Center starting Thursday, Feb. 1. The practice has been standard at other hospitals throughout the U.S. for more than five years.

“We will not ask for payment information until patients are screened and receive stabilization treatment,” said Michael McCoy, chief medical officer at Great River Health Systems. “Patient care is our greatest concern.”

Collecting co-payments in the Emergency Department will help ensure financial stability as Great River Health Systems faces reduced reimbursements for care and increasing costs.

A co-payment is a fixed amount determined by insurance companies that patients pay for specific services. Some insurance plans don’t require co-payments.

After treatment, patient access staff will verify insurance information and request co-payment, if applicable. Cash, check, debit and credit will be accepted. Patients who have insurance without co-payment amounts will be asked to pay a $200 down payment. Patients without insurance coverage will be asked to pay a $400 down payment.

All patients will receive bills for the remaining cost of their care that is not covered by insurance.

If the Emergency Department visit leads to a hospital admission, co-payments will not be collected at that time.

Choosing the right kind of medical care in the right place is important to reducing health care costs. Emergency Department treatment is for serious illnesses and injuries such as heart attack and stroke symptoms, severe breathing problems and deep cuts. It is the most-expensive level of care.

Basic primary- and walk-in clinic care at Great River Health Systems clinics costs about $150, without tests.

Primary-care clinics should be the first step for medical care and advice. They provide treatments for illnesses like severe colds and flu and chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, COPD and heart disease.

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