NIHD merges programs for broader patient benefit

In the coming two weeks, Northern Inyo Healthcare District will merge its Labs for Less program into its existing Prompt Pay Discounts, offering broader discounted services to more patients. Labs for Less will end on December 15.

NIHD’s Chief Financial Officer Stephen DelRossi recognizes the economic challenges facing patients and the District. “Healthcare facilities are facing reimbursements cuts from Medicare and Medicaid,” DelRossi notes. “Cost of services and supplies continue to rise, and staffing, while improving slightly in the last quarter, remains a real challenge across the nation.” DelRossi says the merger of the two programs will allow the District to give more patients better relief during this economically challenging period.

Here is how the discount program works. All services performed and billed by NIHD are eligible for the long-running and popular Prompt Pay Discount program. The program covers everyone, including those who self-pay or are insured or uninsured.
-30% Discount: Private patients who pay their estimated charges at the time of service are eligible for this offer. The 30% discount is applied in place of the hospital submitting the bill to any insurance or a third-party payer. Should the final calculation of the bill be more or less than what was charged at the time of service, adjustments will be made accordingly and promptly, says DelRossi. This discount is only available to those considered self-pay or uninsured. It cannot be used in place of an individual’s insurance plan.
-25% District Resident Discount: Private patients living within the District boundaries can earn a 25% discount off the out-of-pocket portion by paying their bill within 30 days of the date listed on the first statement. This discount only applies to the patient’s part of the bill and not that reimbursed by insurance, Medicare, Medi-Cal, or any third-party payer.
-20% Non-Resident Discount: This discount applies to private patients who pay their bill’s out-of-pocket portion within 30 days of the date listed on the first statement. Again, this discount only applies to the patient’s portion of the bill not reimbursed by insurance, Medicare, Medi-Cal, or any third-party payer.

DelRossi admits medical bills can read like a foreign language to many patients. “We understand there are two concerns most patients have when they walk into NIHD: ‘Am I going to be OK,’ and ‘Can I afford this,’” DelRossi says. “Our physicians and clinicians tackle the first concern; my team
aims to relieve the second.”

NIHD works with various health insurance plans to ensure quality care is available to its patients. These include most major insurance plans, HMOs, PPOs, and Medicare, Medicaid, and Medi-Cal programs. DelRossi’s Credit & Billing team spends their workdays walking through the complex billing practices of the American healthcare system, including insurance coverage and benefits, payment options, and patient financial help programs.

NIHD also offers assistance plans, including Charity Care, Prompt Pay Discounts, and presumptive Medi-Cal enrollment, as permitted. The District also has connections with local organizations to assist patients with more complex care. DelRossi reminds patients that some costs, such as anesthesiologists, are billed and paid separately from the hospital claim. Patient out-of-pocket costs are based on amounts allowed by their insurance company. Many services, such as health screenings, do not have to meet

NIHD encourages patients to discuss program details with billing personnel. The Credit & Billing team is available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at (760) 873-2190.

(From Northern Inyo Healthcare District)

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