Practice Alert

Many patients are feeling squeezed by rising healthcare costs and a difficult economic environment with an unpredictable future.  However, waiving co-pays and deductibles is NOT the answer.

Providers (other than hospitals) are required to act in good faith to collect deductibles and co-pays. Although financial policies that comply with regulatory mandates are permitted, routine waivers of part or all of a patient’s deductible or co-pay can trigger a violation of the federal Anti-kickback statute, OIG Fraud alerts or Florida Statutes.  Further, some insurers will take the position that there is no obligation to reimburse for services rendered when a provider routinely discounts the patient responsibility portion of the bill.  Although many physicians and providers find it tough to charge a patient who is hurting financially, discounting or waiving co-pays is a risky practice.

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