To qualify for recognition as a Patient Financial Communications Adopter, MetroHealth affirmed that it follows all of HFMA’s Patient Financial Communications best practices 90 percent or more of the time. With nearly 135,000 patient days and more than 100,000 emergency department visits logged in 2013, that is no small accomplishment. 

What makes it even more remarkable is that this public healthcare system, which has been serving the Cleveland metropolitan area since 1837, is in the midst of a major campaign to modernize and replace its flagship hospital. Clearly, MetroHealth has not allowed limited resources and competing priorities to stand in the way of creating a superior financial experience for all of its patients, including the uninsured. 

As MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, stated in a recent all-staff newsletter, “Believing that everyone should have an equal opportunity for health care, MetroHealth has been creating ways to extend care to people who previously went without. We believe that people should receive health care regardless of their financial situation.”

Here are five ways that MetroHealth demonstrates its commitment to excellence in patient financial communications. 

  1. Commitment starts at the top. The cover story under the CEO’s byline in the March 2014 issue of MetroHealth’s all-staff newsletter outlines the MetroHealth Financial Assistance Program and reaffirms the organization’s commitment to making quality care available to all community members in a way that is financially feasible for them. 
  2. The finance department emphasizes employee engagement. The finance department has its own vision, mission and companion values, which makes it easy for employees at all levels in the department to see how what they do contributes to the overall mission of the organization. The finance department developed their companion values based on the System values which are Service to Others, Teamwork, Accountability, Respect, Inclusion and Diversity and Quest for Excellence. 
  3. Information about billing and payment is easy for patients to find and understand. Comprehensive online information includes a list of frequently asked questions, the phone number to call for assistance and the hours during which phone support is available, and a glossary. Complete information about MetroHealth’s financial assistance program is also prominently displayed on the organization’s website, accessible through the “Patient Financial Services” tab in the left navigation bar.
  4. Bills are patient-friendly. MetroHealth combined all physician services and hospital services to a single statement for services incurred on or after Feb 1, 2014. This single patient statement was designed by its patients through a focus group. MetroHealth has posted a sample bill online, including explanations of various sections and what they mean.
  5. Prices are posted online. The MetroHealth System posts a price list showing charges for room and board, emergency department, operating room, delivery, physical therapy and other procedures, with clear explanations of what is and is not included in the prices. 

Read the press release.
Learn more about the Best Practices and apply for recognition as an Adopter.


Publication Date: Monday, June 09, 2014