4 updates on hospital charity care

Major health systems and hospitals have made headlines recently for how they are addressing charity care.

Here are four updates from Becker's:

1. Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health said Jan. 6 it expanded its charity care policy and other financial guidelines to help patients lower their out-of-pocket medical costs. The changes make free and discounted care available to more uninsured and underinsured patients, assisting those with incomes up to 450 percent of the federal poverty level who also have high deductibles and copays.

2. The Cook County (Ill.) Health and Hospital System board's Nov. 22 decision to oust CEO John Jay Shannon, MD, came in part because the system is facing a ballooning charity care budget. 

3. Effective Jan. 1, Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai expanded its financial assistance policy to patients who make nearly $50,000 a year. The change means Cedars-Sinai patients will have access to one of the most generous charity care policies offered by California's 10 biggest nonprofit hospitals.

4. In December, Boca Raton, Fla.-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America agreed to pay $5 million to Georgia to fund indigent care. The $5 million payment will be made over 10 years, with the largest portion coming in 2030.

More articles on healthcare finance:
Washington hospital to close this month
7 health systems with strong finances
St. Louis hospital delays payroll after filing for bankruptcy

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