New Mexico hospital stops requiring uninsured to pay 50% up front for surgery

Albuquerque-based University of New Mexico Hospital's board voted unanimously Friday to change the hospital's financial assistance policies and to reverse a policy implemented earlier this year that required uninsured patients to pay a 50 percent down payment before nonemergency surgeries, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Under the new policy, uninsured patients are allowed to pay $25, $75 or $300 up front, depending on their level of poverty, and then make monthly payments on the balance owed for the elective procedure.

"The hospital's policies created an insurmountable barrier for low-income patients to get surgeries, impacting their livelihoods and forcing them to suffer through worsening medical conditions," said Sireesha Manne, healthcare attorney at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. "We are grateful for the collaborative effort of community groups, patient navigators, and policymakers to hold the hospital accountable to its public mission."

The board also voted Friday to establish a discount program for low-income patients in New Mexico who meet poverty guidelines, are ineligible for Medicaid and are unable to purchase private insurance on the health insurance exchange.

UNM Hospital is New Mexico's only academic medical center. The hospital provides more than $135 million of uncompensated care annually, according to its website.

More articles on healthcare finance:

CMS releases final OPPS rule for 2018: 8 things to know
15-bed Missouri hospital's 2,353% revenue increase raises red flags with regulators
CMS releases physician fee schedule for 2018: 6 things to know


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars