Granville Health cuts prompt pay discount

Aug. 19, 2014 @ 05:40 PM

Patients at Granville Health System will no longer receive a monetary incentive to pay bills early.

The hospital announced plans recently to discontinue the prompt pay discount, which provided a 20 percent decrease on the patient’s costs if paid within 30 days of receiving the bill. This change is effective for bills generated after Aug. 1 and only affects those with health insurance, according to Granville Health System spokesman Scott Thomas.

This change does not affect the Granville Health System’s self-pay discount, which allows patients who do not qualify for the financial assistance program and who have no insurance to receive a 20 percent discount.

The discount is still available for eligible patients at Maria Parham Medical Center.

“Maria Parham Medical Center is pleased to offer prompt pay discounts for services offered at the hospital,” spokesman David Ruggles wrote in an email. “Patients are welcome to call the Business Office for more information regarding the prompt pay discount.”

Thomas cited state and federal legislative cutbacks, as well as changes caused by the Affordable Care Act, as reasons for eliminating the discount, which has been in place since 2010.

These reductions in state and federal funding affected the health system’s Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, which allow hospitals to receive partial compensation for treating uninsured patients.

According to Thomas, Granville Health System faces a 25 percent cut to Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments beginning in federal fiscal year 2015, which runs from Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015. These reductions are expected to total $394,100 by 2017.

The health system’s Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments have already been reduced by $56,100 in federal fiscal year 2014 and cuts could total $525,000 by 2017.

“Decisions being made in Washington and Raleigh have had real and immediate repercussions throughout health care,” said L. Lee Isley, Granville Health System chief executive officer, in a press release. “We are fortunate that Granville’s legislative leaders, Sen. McKissick and Representatives Baskerville and Wilkins, have supported Granville Health System and our communities at the state level when we needed a voice at the Capitol. Unfortunately, due to increased cuts in reimbursements tied to new legislation, the way we provide care will continue to change as our industry adjusts to the new environment of health care.”

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.