policy or discount payment policy.”

  1. “… each hospital should limit expected payments from these patients … to amounts that do not exceed the payment the hospital would receive from Medicare …”
  2. “For patients who have an application pending for [financial assistance] a hospital should not knowingly send that patient’s bill to a collection agency prior to 120 days from the time of the initial billing.”
  3. “Any payment plans offered by a hospital … in settling past due outstanding hospital bills shall be interest free.”
  4. “The hospital or outside collection agency operating on behalf of the hospital shall not … use wage garnishments or liens on primary residences as a means of collecting unpaid hospital bills.”

In February of 2004, the Illinois Department of Revenue withdrew the tax-exempt status of Provena Covenant Medical Center 6,7 . In September of 2006, the Illinois Department of Revenue re-affrmed the 2004 judgment. The director of the Illinois Department of Revenue based his decision on 2002 fgures that reveal Covenant’s revenues of $113 million and charitable activities of only $831,724 (only 0.7%). Covenant’s argument that non-reimbursed costs of Medicare and Medicaid be counted as charity was denied.

The Director of Revenue quoted:

This small amount of charitable care is so seriously insufficient that it simply cannot withstand the constitutional scrutiny

  1. 6 Maiuro, Lisa S., Endangered Species?, Not-for-Proft Hospitals Face Tax-exempt Chal- lenge, Healthcare Financial Management, September 2004.
  2. 7 Illinois Not-for-Proft Hospital Loses Property Tax Exemption, HFMA News Brief, October 2, 2006.
28 // The Medical Bill Survival Guide