lthcare costs can come up unexpectedly. Whether patients are insured or uninsured, or whether or not patients qualify for financial assistance -- Mountain View Hospital has a program to assist patients.
   The hospital makes every effort to make high quality healthcare affordable, and accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay, according to a press release noting the hospital offers financial assistance programs and has expanded its guidelines for patient financial assistance.
   More patients may now be eligible for hospital discounts. "Part of our responsibly is to understand the economic conditions of the community. MVH has revised our role as a community steward and feel that the new discount program will benefit those patients who do not have insurance coverage," noted Shawn Whalen, chief financial officer of Mountain View Hospital.
   The hospital historically has offered financial assistance (commonly referred to as charity care) to low-income patients. The hospital has now expanded its program to offer discounts to those who are uninsured but able to pay their bill in full in a timely manner.
   The highlights of the financial assistance programs at Mountain View Hospital are:
   . New early pay discount for uninsured patients -- All patients who are uninsured but able to pay their hospital bill in full in a timely manner will receive a 20 percent discount on the entire hospital bill. This discount is reflective of the reduced cost to the hospital if payment is received without significant collection efforts.
   . Charity Care Program -- Patients who provide proper documentation to prove their low-income status may be eligible for higher levels of discounts. In some cases, 100 percent discounts can be offered.
   . Pre-arranged payment plans -- All pre-arranged payment plans are interest free.
   The hospital staff will work with patients to apply for financial assistance. Information that is provided will be kept confidential and is only reviewed by staff processing the application.
   When patients do not qualify for hospital financial assistance, the staff will help connect patients with other resources for which they may qualify.
   "We are committed to our community in both good and challenging times and try to create resources to provide our patients extra financial assistance when they need it the most. I hope that the new discount program we have developed will provide some relief to those who may be facing financial difficulties," said Jay Henry, CEO of Mountain View Hospital.
   For more information about the financial assistance programs, contact Whalen at 475-3882, ext. 2217.
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