Honesdale, PA – This April, Wayne Memorial Hospital will initiate a payment system designed to help many of the hospital’s patients estimate the cost of their care before receiving services. The hospital’s new software tool will offer real-time cost estimates for co-pay, co-insurance and deductibles so patients can make informed decisions about their health care.
“For many people, knowing how much their health care will cost ahead of time is a relief,” said Michael Clifford, Wayne Memorial’s chief financial officer, “it’s one more thing they won’t have to worry about. It takes away much of the uncertainty.
Clifford said the new system, called “Pay Nav” will approximate the out-of-pocket expenses for patients insured by companies or organizations who have a direct contract with Wayne Memorial Hospital. That includes Blue Cross, First Priority Health, Geisinger Healthcare, Medicare and Medical Assistance. The Hospital expects a contract with Aetna to be finalized this spring.
The new system does not include fees for professional services provided by physicians, such as an anesthesiologist or gastroenterologist or other specialist physician.
“Many organizations today, including hospitals, ask for payment at the time of service, or at least a partial payment on the patient’s estimated bill,” said Clifford, adding, “We will have financial counselors available to help patients make financial arrangements prior to receiving care.”
For those patients who may have difficulty paying for their health care bill, Wayne Memorial offers payment plans, medical assistance eligibility information and Charity Care. The hospital offers discounts for payments made up front or within 30 days of a patient’s bill statement date.
“This new system helps connect patients with financial support early in the process,” said Clifford. “Patients who pre-register will be given information prior to their service or procedure to help them make sound decisions.”
Clifford noted that point-of-service payments are expected to help the non-profit hospital reduce its “bad debt,” that is, the amount it has not been able to collect from patients, a number that has risen significantly in the last several years and could be reduced with help from the new software system.
“What’s key here is that even a little bit of a reduction in that number may help cut the costs of overall healthcare for everybody.
“Our goal is to make sure everybody gets the treatment they need. We encourage all of our patients to work with us, because we are here to work with them and help them obtain the care they need.”
The hospital will begin implementing the new system gradually, beginning in Radiology (Imaging) and the Emergency Department. Wayne Memorial Hospital does not deny treatment in the Emergency Department to anyone who needs care for any reason.
For more information, call (570) 253-8100.