CCH says comments over potential 25% up-front payment requirement taken out of context

Campbell County Memorial Hospital
Campbell County Memorial Hospital (file photo)

Gillette, Wyo.— Campbell County Health on Friday objected to comments recently published in local news alleging they could be planning to require patients to pay a quarter of their care costs upfront. 

The comments, made by interim-Chief Financial Officer Rob Lebron and published on July 26 by the Gillette News-Record, allege the health organization is considering the possibility of requiring patients to pay for 25% of their visit costs up front to help cut down on bad debt.

Such a plan was said to have originated from Ensemble Health, a contracted organization reportedly helping CCH fix its revenue cycle in the face of millions-of-dollars in standing bad debt. 

“CCH is not planning any changes that would require self-pay patients to pay 25% of their bill before their visit,” the health organization said in a July 29 statement. “Further, at no time did our revenue cycle management partner Ensemble Health request or require such a proposal from CCH. The comment was made in error, taking an idea developed during a brainstorming session out of context.” 

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According to the statement, CCH has no intention to deny patients care because of their ability to pay. 

“While bad debt is indeed an issue for CCH, as it is for many hospitals across the country, the issue is far more complicated and nuanced that was iterated during the July 21 Board of Trustees meeting,” CCH said, and apologized for the confusion and concern the comments caused in the community. 

The health organization says it is actively working towards implementing cost savings ideas and improved efficiencies developed during the recently-concluded eight-month budgetary cycle, laying the fiscal spending plan for the next fiscal year. 

With the budget in place, having recently been approved by the CCH Board of Trustees, CCH will almost break even this fiscal year that it says is a tremendous improvement over the previous year’s $25 million deficit.