246-453-040  <<  246-453-050 >>   246-453-060

WAC 246-453-050

Guidelines for the development of sliding fee schedules.

All hospitals shall, within ninety days of the adoption of these rules, implement a sliding fee schedule for determination of discounts from billed charges for responsible parties meeting the criteria in WAC 246-453-040(2). These sliding fee schedules must be made available upon request.
(1) In developing these sliding fee schedules, hospitals shall consider the following guidelines:
(a) The sliding fee schedule shall consider the level of charges that are not covered by any public or private sponsorship in relation to or as a percentage of the responsible party's family income;
(b) The sliding fee schedule shall determine the maximum amount of charges for which the responsible party will be expected to provide payment, with flexibility for hospital management to hold the responsible party accountable for a lesser amount after taking into account the specific financial situation of the responsible party;
(c) The sliding fee schedule shall take into account the potential necessity for allowing the responsible party to satisfy the maximum amount of charges for which the responsible party will be expected to provide payment over a reasonable period of time, without interest or late fees; and
(d) Hospital policies and procedures regarding the sliding fee schedule shall specify the individual financial circumstances which may be considered by appropriate hospital personnel for purposes of adjusting the amount resulting from the application of the sliding fee schedule, such as:
(i) Extraordinary nondiscretionary expenses relative to the amount of the responsible party's medical care expenses;
(ii) The existence and availability of family assets, which may only be considered with regard to the applicability of the sliding fee schedule;
(iii) The responsible party's future income earning capacity, especially where his or her ability to work in the future may be limited as a result of illness; and
(iv) The responsible party's ability to make payments over an extended period of time.
(2) Examples of sliding fee schedules which address the guidelines in the previous subsection are:
(a) A person whose annual family income is between one hundred one and two hundred percent of the federal poverty standard, adjusted for family size, shall have his/her hospital charges that are not covered by public or private sponsorship limited to forty percent of the excess of that person's annual family income over one hundred percent of the federal poverty standard, adjusted for family size. This responsibility may be adjusted by appropriate hospital personnel after taking into consideration the individual financial circumstances of the responsible party. The responsible party's financial obligation which remains after the application of this sliding fee schedule may be payable in monthly installments over a reasonable period of time, without interest or late fees, as negotiated between the hospital and the responsible party.
(b) A person whose family income is between one hundred one and two hundred percent of the federal poverty standard, adjusted for family size, shall have his/her hospital charges that are not covered by public or private sponsorship reduced according to the schedule below. The resulting responsibility may be adjusted by appropriate hospital personnel after taking into consideration the individual financial circumstances of the responsible party. The responsible party's financial obligation which remains after the application of this sliding fee schedule may be payable in monthly installments over a reasonable period of time, without interest or late fees, as negotiated between the hospital and the responsible party. The schedule is as follows:
income as a percentage
of federal poverty level
percentage discount
One hundred one to
one hundred thirty-three
Seventy-five percent
One hundred thirty-four to
one hundred sixty-six
Fifty percent
One hundred sixty-seven to
two hundred
Twenty-five percent
(3) The provisions of this section and RCW 70.170.060(5) shall not apply to the professional services of the hospital's medical staff, provided that the charges for such services are either submitted by the individual medical staff or are separately identified within the hospital's billing system.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 43.070 [43.70] and 70.170 RCW. WSR 94-12-089, § 246-453-050, filed 6/1/94, effective 7/2/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 70.170.060. WSR 91-05-048 (Order 142), § 246-453-050, filed 2/14/91, effective 3/17/91.]
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