Financial Assistance Policy
St. Luke's Hospital provides care to patients consistent with its mission and values. Financial Assistance is available to who reside in the community we serve and who are uninsured or underinsured and do not have adequate financial resources to pay for necessary healthcare services provided. St. Luke's Hospital will use its best efforts to provide financial assistance fairly and consistently, balancing our patients' needs for financial assistance with St. Luke's Hospital's broader fiscal responsibility, and taking into consideration each patient's specific needs. Information gathered to determine whether or not a patient qualifies for Financial Assistance is kept confidential and is limited to only those directly involved with the determination process and is considered "protected health information" under HIPAA.
Payments expected from uninsured patients are in line with those that have been negotiated with insurance companies. Financial Assistance provided by St. Luke's Hospital is not a substitute for personal responsibility. All patients seen at St. Luke's Hospital are expected to contribute to the cost of their care, based upon their individual ability to pay.
Financial Assistance Applications
Patients may request an application for financial assistance through Social Services, Patient Billing, or any St. Luke's employee who, if unable to directly assist the patient, can direct them to the appropriate personnel. Applications are available in the hospital, at all registration areas and the cashier's office as well as on-line via the hospital website:
Download Financial Assistance Application - PDF
Completed applications are processed within fourteen (14) days of receipt and a letter of determination is mailed to all patients who apply. Patients are asked to comply with providing supporting documentation to assist in the determination process. A patient's failure to provide all requested information may result in a delay of determination. Only one application is necessary and consideration will be taken for multiple accounts for the patient/guarantor. If a patient qualifies for a partial reduction in their account balance, but is not able to pay their remaining balance in full, an interest free payment plan is available so that patients can pay through monthly installments.
St. Luke's Hospital reaches out to self-pay and underinsured patients in a number of ways, including raising patient awareness of Medicaid health insurance. By assisting our patients with the application process, St. Luke's Hospital helps patients obtain the benefits for which they qualify. A Financial Counselor may contact you during your stay in the hospital or after you are discharged to assist you in the application process.
Financial Assistance Determination:
Financial Assistance is based on a sliding scale, taking into consideration the following: Federal Poverty Guidelines, income, assets, family size, medical needs and catastrophic costs. Financial assistance ranges between 25% - 100% and is available to all patients regardless of whether or not they have health insurance. Patients who have health insurance may qualify for assistance on their remaining balance (coinsurance/deductibles) after insurance pays.
All other resources must be applied first, including applicable health insurance coverage, payment from third party payors and payments from Medicaid, Medicaid HMO plans, or other government sponsored programs.
Financial assistance is available to all hospital patients including inpatients, outpatients and those receiving services at one of our off-site or affiliate locations.
Determinations for eligibility for full or partial charity will remain valid for twelve months from the date of the charity determination for all necessary hospital services and will be applied to current episodes of care and unpaid balances.
There are instances when a patient may appear eligible for financial assistance, but there is no application on file due to lack of supporting documentation. Often, there is adequate information provided by the patient or through other sources, which would provide sufficient evidence to provide the patient with financial assistance. St. Luke's Hospital may use outside agencies in determining estimated income amounts for the basis of determining charity care eligibility.
Nothing in this policy will prohibit St. Luke's Hospital from offering reduced or more favorable financial assistance to an uninsured patient based upon individual circumstances.
St. Luke's Hospital Financial Assistance applies to emergency or other medically necessary care that is provided in the hospital facility. Click here to review a list of physicians who are covered (PDF ) under St. Luke's Hospital's Financial Assistance policy. Click here to review a list of physicians on St. Luke's Medical staff who are NOT covered (PDF ) under St. Luke's Hospital's Financial Assistance policy.
Uninsured Patients Billing Practices
The first statement sent to an uninsured patient will reflect the expected payment that is in line with those offered to insurance companies (medically necessary services only). In addition, uninsured patients who pay their balance within thirty (30) days are also eligible for a prompt pay reduction.
When sending a bill to a patient, the following statement will be included:
- Financial Assistance may also be available to those who have an inability to pay because they are uninsured or lack other financial resources. An application must be completed to determine eligibility. Please contact our Customer Service Department for more information.
St. Luke's Hospital management has developed policies and procedures for internal and external collection practices that take into account the extent to which the patient qualifies for charity, a patient's good faith effort to apply for a governmental program or for charity from St. Luke's Hospital, and a patient's good faith effort to comply with his or her payment agreements with St. Luke's Hospital. For patients who qualify for financial assistance and who are cooperating in good faith to resolve their hospital bills, St. Luke's Hospital may offer extended payment plans, will not impose wage garnishments or force a foreclosure on primary residences, will not impose actions that force bankruptcy and will not send unpaid bills to outside collection agencies.
St. Luke's Hospital adheres to the laws of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Association of Credit and Collection Professional's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and patients are treated with dignity, respect and in line with our mission and values.
Patients are informed about our Financial Assistance process in a number of ways:
St. Luke's Financial Assistance Policy is subject to change from time to time without notice.
- Financial counselors and Social workers are available to patients during their stay.
- Patient Financial Services attempts to contact scheduled patients prior to services to provide patients with their expected amounts due and discuss payment/discount options.
- Discussions about financial assistance occur when speaking to patients on the phone about their account balances.
- Information regarding our Financial Assistance Policy is located on our website, our billing statements as well as our registration booklets/brochures.
- St. Luke's Pediatric Care Center is a mission-based agency of St. Luke's Hospital that provides health care to children in St. Louis City and County in a private practice setting where care is available for uninsured and low income children.
- St. Luke's Hospital partners with Volunteers in Medicine in our primary service area and People's Health Clinic in our secondary service area which addresses the healthcare needs for those with low income. Information about our financial assistance policy is communicated to members of our community through advertisements that are mailed to approximately 68,000 homes which promote classes and events that we offer in the community. Signs informing patients about our Financial Assistance Policy are posted in all registration areas and off-site locations (approximately 50 locations). Patients can also find our policy and application information on all billing statements as well as our website.