August 3rd, 2016
The 2016 Chirocode Deskbook offers advice on waivers!
It is improper and illegal to waive co-payments and/or deductibles. For this reason, if you wish to offer some sort of assistance to a patient, the proper way to do so is through an official “Financial Hardship Policy”.
Caution is advised when implementing hardship waivers. For example, waivers and reductions for co-pays, coinsurances, and deductibles should not be routine and should not be advertised in any way. Hardship waivers should be used only in cases where hardship is clearly indicated and documented. Clinics should have a written policy regarding determinations of financial hardship and a clear guideline on what qualifies as a hardship (e.g. by using federal poverty guidelines). ChiroCode created a Financial Hardship Policy and Application which provides both the official policy, and the application which is completed by the patient.
Alert! Hardship waivers are a temporary courtesy arrangement which must be periodically reviewed with current financial information from the patient. Your policy must clearly communicate to the patient/responsible party that this arrangement is not permanent.