Case study: WY hospital expands charity care

A Wyoming hospital has expanded its charity care policy to allow more patients to qualify for free care, one of many not-for-profits taking steps to make sure they will make the right impression when they fill out their Form 990 Schedule H. Right now, Wyoming Medical Center incurs about $30 million annually in uncompensated care expenses, 80 percent of which comes from bad debt and 20 percent of which pays for charity care. Elsewhere, it's more common for there to be a 50/50 split, according to hospital CEO Nancy Brandt. To address this inequity, the hospital will now use a sliding scale when it comes to charity care, and allow patients at 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level to apply for free care. It will also let patients with income of up to 275 percent of the federal poverty level to apply for some form of subsidized care. To help facilitate the application process, the hospital is switching out its five-page application for a much simpler one-page application that is estimated to take five minutes to complete. While the previous form asked questions about patient circumstances, the new form will ask questions only related to income verification.

To learn more about the hospital's program:
- read this InsideARM article

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