“I sat down and cried. It lifted such a burden off of us.” Read how Edward's financial assistance policy helped this Naperville family.
Edward community benefit grows to $65 million, charity care up nearly 50 percent to $8.9 million.
In March of 2008, unbearable pain in her abdomen sent 61-year old Naperville resident Donna Palm to the emergency room at Edward Hospital. Three days later Donna had surgery to have her gall bladder removed.
Her insurance covered only $4,500 of the bill, leaving $40,125 of a totally unexpected healthcare expense unpaid.
| Donna Palm, Naperville resident, visits with Pam Davis, president
& CEO, Edward Hospital.
"I was really between a rock and hard place. We didn't know how we were going to pay," recalls Donna. "We don't have the money to even remotely cover an amount like this," recalls Donna.
Donna talked to an Edward financial assistance counselor about her options. Based on her financial situation, Donna was eligible to have 100% of her bill covered by Edward's Financial Assistance Policy.
"There's no way of putting it in words," says Donna. "I sat down and cried. I never even dreamed that anything like that would happen. It lifted such a burden off of us."
Thousands more like Donna benefited from Edward's generous Financial Assistance Policy and other healthcare programs and services for the community in fiscal year 2008 (July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2008).
During that time, Edward provided nearly $65 million in community benefits, a 19 percent increase over the previous year. Charity care accounted for more than $8.9 million of the total community benefit amount, 47 percent higher than 2007 and the fifth year in a row the amount has gone up. Charity care is the cost of medical services that were provided free or partially reimbursed.
"Most importantly, Donna and hundreds of others are getting the quality medical care they need," says Pam Davis, president & CEO, Edward Hospital. "Beyond their care, it's our mission to provide peace of mind for Donna and others who are in similar situations because of insurance or other financial reasons. Our Financial Assistance Policy provides that safety net so our patients and their families can concentrate on their immediate health concerns not about another bill or phone call seeking payment."
Edward's Financial Assistance Policy provides 100% assistance for uninsured patients who earn up to three times the U.S. poverty level. There's a sliding scale discount for those whose income is up to five times the poverty level. For uninsured patients with incomes above that level, a discount is offered that's equal to the average managed care discount and Edward works with patients to develop payment plans to pay off balances.
In addition, Edward has specially trained counselors who help uninsured patients apply for public aid and social workers and discharge planners who work with community clinics, primary care doctors and follow-up providers to deliver care to qualifying patients on a sliding scale or at no cost.
Charity care is just one element of Edward's total community benefit amount. Unreimbursed costs of Medicare and Medicaid, bad debt and community services also contribute to the total, which has steadily increased since fiscal year 2002, from $25.3 million to almost $65 million in fiscal year 2008.
The detailed Edward Hospital Community Benefit Report for fiscal year 2008 and details of Edward's Financial Assistance Policy can be found online at www.edward.org/financialassistance.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services