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News, Your Health | one year ago

Six Things to Know About Financial Assistance, Billing and Charity Care at Atrium Health

As a nonprofit health system, Atrium Health is ensuring access to high-quality care for everyone in the communities we serve. Here, we share some of the facts relevant to our financial assistance, billing and charity care:

One of Atrium Heath’s core values is our “for all” mission – meaning we don’t turn anyone away who needs medical care, regardless of their ability or inability to pay. We understand that concerns about paying for health care can cause great anxiety for patients and their families. We work with all patients to find the best payment solution that fits their specific situation.

Below are some facts relevant to our financial assistance, billing and charity care.

1. Atrium Health provides the most health care to residents throughout North Carolina and we are also the largest provider of community benefit.

  • We provided $2.46 billion in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits in 2021.
  • As part of that, we incurred more than $1.4 billion in unreimbursed costs of treating Medicare and Medicaid patients.

2. Free care is available for patients at 200% of the federal poverty level and below and substantial discounts are also available for patients whose household income is up to 400% of the federal poverty level.

3. In 2021 alone, Atrium Health:

  • Provided over $437 million to more than 100,000 uninsured patients who never received a bill for the care they received.
  • Extended over $392 million in services to more than 9,500 uninsured patients who received 100% charity care through the coverage assistance and financial assistance process, with an additional 1,500 patients receiving partial discounts through this program.
  • Granted over $11 million in discounts to over 1,200 patients through Atrium Health’s Hardship Settlement Program, while allowing over 8,500 current patients to pay their remaining balance on multi-year, interest-free payment plans.

4. We assist all patients in determining eligibility for insurance coverage, including Medicaid or Medicare, and help them apply for any of our applicable financial assistance programs, including: 

  • Full and partial forgiveness of balances for patients who qualify for charity care.
  • Discounts of at least 50% on hospital charges and 40% on professional charges for uninsured patients, which is prior to any potential financial assistance for which they may be eligible.
  • Forgiveness for all, or a portion, of balances for patients who qualify for hardship or catastrophic benefits.

Eligible patients can set up a multi-year, interest-free payment plan. All patients – whether insured or uninsured – can opt for a multi-year, low-interest payment plan, depending on the balance of the account.

5. We only pursue litigation as a very last resort, typically when patients will not respond or cooperate with attempts to line them up with the many financial assistance program options we offer or with available government programs. 

6. When patients accumulate bills and need help, we have teams dedicated to working with patients to establish a payment plan for what they can afford. When provided with the proper information, we can typically determine plans or programs that could help them resolve – or eliminate – their debt.

As a nonprofit health system, Atrium Health is ensuring access to high-quality care for everyone in the communities we serve. For us, there are no profits – just outcomes, in the form of improving health, elevating hope and advancing healing – for all.

For those needing financial help, more information can be found at AtriumHealth.org/For-Patients-Visitors/Financial-Assistance and our team is available at 704-512-7171.