Branson, MO – Beginning December 1, 2011 anyone needing a prescription in the Skaggs Emergency Department will need to pay their co-pay if they have insurance. Patients with no insurance will be required to pay a $40 deposit. If they cannot pay at time of service, Skaggs will hold the prescription for up to seven days. If patients are unable to afford the $40, they may apply for charity care through the hospital business office.
“Over the last year about one-third of the estimated 120 patients seen per day in the Skaggs Emergency Department have no health insurance,” explains William K. Mahoney, Skaggs President and CEO. “In August the emergency department reported $1.3 million in bad debt. This amount of bad debt is unsustainable for our operation. Our percentage of bad debt from the emergency department is considerably higher than the national and Missouri average.”
As a result of the reported bad debt, the payment policy for the emergency department was reviewed. Each patient in the emergency department will receive the same quality care and treatment they have always received by board certified physicians. Once treated a patient could be provided a short supply of needed medication. No prescriptions will be provided until the required co-pay or $40 is made or arrangements are made through our charity care program.
Skaggs encourages a community of well people and strives to achieve this by continuously reevaluating preventative practices. Many of the patients seeking treatment at Skaggs Emergency Department have minor aches and pains, which can become expensive to treat in the ED. Following a visit in the emergency department, patients will be given an appointment to see a family physician where they will be further evaluated and possibly offered a prescription as their medical condition dictates.
Patients with minor medical needs are encouraged to visit Skaggs Urgent Care, inside Skaggs Outpatient Center, 545 Branson Landing Blvd., Branson. Urgent Care is open seven days a week. For more details about Skaggs Urgent Care visit www.skaggs.net/emergencyservices or call (417) 348-8646.