A growing number of healthcare organizations are announcing that they are stopping all debt collection activities to help individuals suffering financially through the coronavirus pandemic.
TRA Medical Imaging, which bills itself as one of the nation’s largest physician-owned imaging practices in the nation, serving 12 outpatient facilities in the Pacific Northwest, said it was pausing all collection activities for at least the next 30 days.
“Our providers and staff are on the frontlines delivering medical care to the communities we serve in a time of unprecedented need. But the financial health and well-being of our community also can’t be ignored,” said Dr. Douglas Seiler, TRA’s president, in a statement. “Our core value as an organization is simply: patients first. As we all cope with this crisis together, anything we can do to ease the anxiety for our community frankly is the right thing to do.”
As well, LMH Health, formerly known as Lawrence Memorial Hospital, in Lawrence, Kansas, has announced it will stop all point-of-service collections and all debt collection activities. Stopping point-of-service collections will take the “financial pressure” off patients who normally would be required to make immediate payments or copays before being treated, but also will reduce the number of items touched and traded between patients and hospital staff.
Patients can still make payments on their outstanding bills, if they want, said Deb Cartwright, the Chief Financial Officer at LMH Health.
“Some may want to make payments because they do not personally want to get behind or they just simply want to get it paid off,” Cartwright said. “But we will not pursue them for payments, nor will there be consequences, such as fees, for the time being on ‘missed’ payments.”