Dialysis Provider To Halt Aid To Charity That Helps Patients Pay For Insurance
Payments by providers to help patients who might be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid coverage buy plans on the marketplaces have come under scrutiny following complaints by insurers and some consumer advocates.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
DaVita Changes Policy On Helping Patients Secure Financial Assistance
DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. will no longer help certain patients obtain financial aid to pay for health insurance they don’t necessarily need. The Denver-based company, one of the nation’s largest dialysis providers, announced Monday that it will “suspend support” for applications to the American Kidney Fund that allowed some dialysis patients, also enrolled in Medicaid, to gain access to private health insurance plans. The American Kidney Fund, a charitable organization, provided the funds that allowed some Medicaid patients to obtain the additional insurance coverage. The private plans allowed DaVita to be reimbursed at higher rates for the same services. Medicaid and Medicare, government-run insurance programs, pay significantly less for dialysis services than private insurance. (Liss, 10/31)
DaVita Shares Jump On Change For Medicaid Patients Seeking ACA Coverage
The company said the change would affect about 2,000 patients, or one percent of DaVita's patient population. "While our analysis indicates that dialysis patients account for less than 2 percent of the overall medical costs in ACA Plans, we understand the financial pressures in the risk pool," Chairman and CEO Kent Thiry said in a statement. "We stand ready to work with all stakeholders to preserve the intent of the ACA within a sustainable rate and regulatory structure." (Lovelace, 10/31)
Related KHN coverage: Insurers, Hospitals Clash Over Help Paying Obamacare Premiums (Galewitz, 10/31)