Is a free service provided on the basis of presumptive eligibility allowable for charity on Medicare’s cost report worksheet S-10? Our policy includes presuming a patient who has been referred by a local free clinic, to be eligible for charity care for the referred service.
Answer: The cost report instructions only indicate that the patient must meet the charity care/financial assistance policy to be counted on the uncompensated lines on the S-10. Furthermore, 501(r) regulations allow for presumptive eligibility, so the provider can consider those patients presumptively eligible for the hospital charity care discount. Note that if the patient presumptively qualifies for less than the full charity discount, the patient must have an opportunity to review the full policy and apply for the full discount if other qualifications are met.
This question was answered by: Rick Parker, executive director, CBIZ KA Consulting Services, and a member of HFMA’s New Jersey Chapter.
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