|Sacred Heart Health System is a ministry of Ascension Health, one of the nationís largest Catholic healthcare systems. We are driven by our mission to serve all persons, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.
Every day, our financial counselors assist individuals who do not have health insurance. Our health system provides assistance to urgent or emergent patients who demonstrate need, based on incomes as well as their assets and the size of the medical bill.
We are committed to a fair billing system to ensure that all patients are treated with dignity and respect. Our financial assistance to the poor and uninsured includes the following elements:
Charity care: For poor or low-income patients determined by our financial counselors to be eligible for charity care, we will provide up to the entire cost of their hospital care at no charge to the patient. The charity care guidelines take into account the patientís household income and the size of their medical bills.
Uninsured Patients with Means to Pay: Not all uninsured patients are poor or qualify for charity status. However, regardless of ability to pay, all uninsured patients will receive a 20 percent discount on their hospital bill. Sacred Heart also provides an additional 20 percent prompt pay discounts to uninsured patients who pay their bills on or before the date of service. The discount for uninsured patients applies to all hospital care except those having elective, cosmetic procedures. This discount does not apply to physician bills, home health or other services outside the hospital setting.
Other assistance: Sacred Heart Health System also assists patients in the process of qualifying for Medicaid and other programs, and we offer extended payment options for those who do not qualify for charity care.
Billing and Collection Practices for the Uninsured: We will not pursue liens or garnishment of wages against any individual who qualifies for charity care or financial assistance. Those individuals will not be charged interest on unpaid balances.
Independent collection agencies must adhere to our policies and must receive approval from us before pursuing any legal action against an individual who does not qualify for chairty care or financial assistance. Collection agencies used by our hospital also must follow Fair Debt and Collection Practices, behaving in a manner that treats individuals with dignity, respect and compassion.
Since the Daughters of Charity founded Sacred Heart Hospital in 1915, we have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that every patient receives quality care, regardless of their ability to pay. In the latest fiscal year, Sacred Heart provided $17 million in charity care and $51 million in total uncompensated care.
Ascension Health and Sacred Heart Health System are working toward the goal of making sure that every person in the communities we serve has access to health care. We are striving every day to provide health care that leaves no one behind.