VCU Health Announces Changes To Billing and Collection Practices
October 09, 2019
Our health care system is proud to provide quality care to all who need it. Today, quality care goes beyond physical and behavioral health. It is equally important that a health care bill is affordable and does not put too much of a strain on a family’s financial wellbeing.
Over the past year, we have taken steps to simplify our guidelines for financial assistance, and to make it easier for patients to understand and pay their bills. This effort is ongoing, and we will keep making changes to meet the needs of our patients.
The biggest change is that we are simplifying practices across all of our institutions. In the future, our financial assistance and debt collection guidelines will be the same across VCU Medical Center, MCV Physicians, and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. This also includes the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
The changes are as follows:
- In July 2019, we updated our financial assistance policy by adding support for catastrophic situations and prohibitively expensive non-emergent care, bringing more assistance to more people.
- As of September 2019, we no longer send patient accounts to court as part of our routine debt collection process. We are also no longer issuing new garnishments on wages or putting new liens on homes.
- We stopped using legal action for debt collection at VCU Medical Center many years ago. Now our other facilities are doing the same.
- We are discussing several possibilities regarding older patient accounts that are already in court, and how to manage outstanding wage garnishments and liens.
- Beginning in November 2019, we will write off 100% of the charges for patients with incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level. (200% of the federal poverty level is roughly $25,000 for an individual and $51,500 for a family of four). This is a change. We currently use a sliding discount scale for individuals within this income bracket.
- Beginning in November 2019, we will write off 50% of the charges for patients with incomes between 201-300% of the federal poverty level. (300% of the federal poverty level is roughly $37,000 for an individual and $77,250 for a family of four). This represents a change. At the moment, we write off 45% of the charges.
We already offer interest-free payments to our self-pay patients for up to 72 months.
We are committed to working with anyone who currently has an outstanding balance they are struggling to pay. If you need assistance, please contact our financial counseling call center at (804) 828-0966.