We have been receiving many questions lately as to why we have made changes to our collection policy at West River Health Services, so I felt it was necessary to address those questions.
WRHS has always worked with, or tried to work with our patients, when it comes to paying off their medical bills in a timely manner. We realize that unfortunate and unplanned events can have a devastating impact on a family’s finances. Unfortunately, at times our patients are not able to, or refuse to, pay their bills off and we end up having to turn their account over to collections. Having our patients turned over to collections is not the outcome that we want for our patient, or for the organizations ability to survive.
Sometimes numbers can help put things into perspective, so I would like to share some of our numbers with you to hopefully shed some light on the decision to partner with an outside financial institution for patient loans. At the end of July, the following account balances were outstanding:
0-30 Days since Date of Service: $2,193,919
31-60 days since Date of Service: $788,796
51-90 days since Date of Service: $327,746
91-120 days since Date of Service: $279,053
121-150 days since Date of Service: $198,074
Over 150 days since Date of Service: $1,603,767
Total in outstanding Accounts Receivable: $5,391,355
It is important to note that these balances also reflect accounts that are waiting on payment from insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. If a patient is covered by multiple plans, we have to submit to them individually in a certain order. Some plans can take months, and in some cases up to a year, to see payment. We realize this creates confusion at times with our patients on why they see their bill so late after service. We try and make sure that we have done everything possible to collect from your insurance or other coverages prior to requesting payment from you the patient.
Beyond what is reflected in the numbers above, WRHS also has a considerable amount of dollars that have been moved over to collections. As of the same date the figures above came from, there are $4,693,467 that are currently sitting in collections.
Outstanding Accounts Receivable and accounts in collections have a combined total $10,084,822.
For those patients who simply cannot afford to pay for their medical services WRHS maintains the charity care program, which to date and for the fiscal year (April forward) has provided $52,853 in free or discounted services. During the previous fiscal year WRHS provided $294,341 in care as part of this plan. If you feel you may qualify for this program, please reach out to our Patient Accounts department to inquire about details.
We hope that with the information provided, the changes we have made will make a little more sense. We strive to provide you with access to your care as close to home as possible. We want to thank you for your trust in us to provide care to you and your loved ones. We look forward to providing that care for many years to come.
-Matt Shahan, CEO