BAD DEBT POLICY
Putnam General Hospital
Issued: April 30, 2003
Updated: November 30, 2016
Approved: Hospital Authority
Applies to: Patient Financial Services
PURPOSE:To set criteria for billing cycle and bad debt write off of accounts and to ensure that the appropriate measures have been taken before an account is deemed as bad debt.
POLICY:Accounts with a self pay/patient portion balance that has gone through the system cycle of statements and letters with no response or set payment arrangements from the patient and has aged at least 81 days from the date of the first demand statement to patient, will be rolled to an outside collection agency for additional attempts for collection (with the exception of non patients). Accounts rolled to an outside collection agency are classified as bad debts in hospital accounting system and additional fees and legal action may be applicable. Non patient patient class will NOT be rolled over to bad debt or sent to an outside collection agency. Non patients do not present to the hospital for services and only their specimens/labs are brought to the hospital via reference lab.
GUIDELINES FOR SCREENING AND PROCESSING OF BAD DEBTS ACCOUNTS:
Putnam General Hospital's contracted early out vendor will send a listing of accounts to PGH with no response or set payment arrangements from the patient and has met bad debt criteria. All accounts will be reviewed to insure all insurance payments have been received and posted correctly, indigent or charity care is not pending, and dates of service verified that the account has aged at least 81 days from the date of first patient statement.
Upon verification, the total bad debt amount is presented and approved monthly by the Hospital Board of Directors and will be written off to bad debt in the hospital computer system.
Outside collection agencies will pursue patient guarantors for amount due. If no response from the patient guarantor for a minimum of 60 days, the account can be deemed as uncollectible.
All accounts will be returned from contracted bad debt agencies when they are deemed as uncollectible.
Medicare Bad Debt Accounts (uncollectible deductibles and coinsurance) returned to the hospital as uncollectible will be logged in the Medicare Bad Debt Logs. An amount cannot be claimed as Medicare Bad Debt until it is deemed as uncollectible from the collection agency.