Policy Choices 2009: Hospital financial assistance disclosure

Many, if not all, Alabama hospitals have traditionally offered financial planning and assistance to their patients. Admitting personnel usually notify "self-pay" patients (those whose payments will not be covered by insurance) and their families about this service upon admission to the hospital or during registration for emergency or outpatient services. However, if uninsured people need hospital admission or outpatient services and are unaware of this help, they may be reluctant to seek care, fearing their budgets cannot bear the hospital charges.

Two bills this year would partially address this problem.

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