The financial assistance policy for Cleveland Clinic hospitals and outpatient facilities is changing beginning January 1, 2011. We are implementing this change so we can continue to support patients who have limited access to healthcare, while at the same time focusing our support on those patients who have the greatest medical and financial needs.
Cleveland Clinic continues to provide one of the most generous financial assistance policies in the state and will continue to cover uninsured patients up to 400% of the federal poverty income levels.
Under the new policy there are two changes. Uninsured patients who live outside a 150 mile radius from Cleveland Clinic’s main campus will need to go to their local healthcare provider for care they can receive locally. There may be some exceptions to this when care can only be provided at Cleveland Clinic and this will be determined with the patient’s physician. Patients who have insurance and are responsible for their other out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays or co-insurance deductibles, will no longer be eligible for financial assistance from Cleveland Clinic and will need to work with financial counselors before care will be provided.
Patients who live within 150 miles from downtown Cleveland will continue to be eligible for financial assistance. We will continue to provide charity care for the majority of counties within the state of Ohio. In fact, residents in 65 of the 88 counties will continue to be eligible for assistance. This is inline with what other hospitals are doing locally and nationally and it helps to keep valuable charity care dollars right here for the benefit of Northeast Ohio residents who are most in need.
Our charity care coverage continues to span a greater geographic coverage area than other health systems locally, as well as throughout the nation.
We have seen a dramatic increase in charity care provided by Cleveland Clinic. In 2009, charity care provided by Cleveland Clinic was approximately $120 million and is currently trending at approximately a 20% increase for 2010.
Just as we do today, if patients do not meet our criteria for financial aid, we will work with them and offer various payment plan options.
For any patients who have questions, please contact the Cleveland Clinic Patient Financial Services Counselors at 216.445.6249 or 1-866-621-6385.