Corporate Compliance

Tip: Discounts to uninsured or underinsured patients

Compliance Monitor, November 7, 2007

Hospitals may discount services to uninsured and underinsured patients who are unable to pay their hospital bills. The OIG offers the following guidance for providing discounts:

  • Hospitals should reflect full uniform charges on the Medicare cost report and inform the FI that it has reported its full charges
  • Hospitals can forgo collection efforts aimed at a Medicare patient if the hospital documents that the patient is indigent or medically indigent
  • Hospitals may claim discounted amounts as Medicare bad debt after determining that no source other than the patient is legally responsible for the unpaid deductibles and coinsurance
  • Hospitals can determine their own indigent-care criteria if they uniformly apply it to Medicare and non-Medicare patients

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