Two New Hampshire Hospitals Change Eligibility Guidelines for Charity Care in Face of Medicaid Cuts

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H., and Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H., have changed their charity care eligibility to help offset state Medicaid cuts, according to a Foster's Daily Democrat report.

Previously, the hospitals provided free care to patients earning at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, but now they will only provide care to patients at or below 200 percent of the federal guidelines, according to the report. Federal poverty guidelines for 2011 show that a single person must make $10,890 or less to be below the poverty line, and a family of four must make $22,350 or less.

FMH's guidelines are slightly different, as they have been adjusted to a sliding scale of up to 200 percent. A family of four earning 125 percent of the federal poverty line will have 100 percent of their medical costs covered by the hospital, a family of four earning 150 percent of the federal poverty line have 75 percent of their costs covered and a family of four earning 200 percent of the poverty line will have 25 percent of their costs covered.

WDH will face roughly $10 million in Medicaid cuts as part of the state's newest budget, and FMH will face about $4 million in Medicaid cuts, the report said. Both hospitals are also part of the lawsuit against New Hampshire that aims to halt the loss of $250 million in Medicaid funding.

Related Articles on Hospital Charity Care:

Montana Hospitals Increasing Charity Care, Bad Debt
California's Sacramento County Must Pay UC Davis for Charity Care
U.S. Rep. Kucinich Slams Cleveland Clinic for Alleged Lack of Uncompensated Care

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