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Chapter 9
Sliding Fee Discount Program
Presented By Don Holloman, M.Ed.
10/28/20
Disclaimers
• This presentation is not endorsed by Management Strategist Consulting Group (MSCG)
• This presentation is not endorsed by Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) or
Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
• Independent consultant who is contracted to do Operational SiteVisits (OSVs)/Technical
Assistance (TA)
• Not intended to provide legal advice
Chapter 9 Sliding Fee Discount Program
(SFDP)
• Purpose of SFDP Program
• Elements A to L
• Element purpose
• Compliance focus area & questions to evaluate your SFDP policy
• Areas of focus
• Additional considerations for elements
SFDP Purpose
SFDP Purpose
• One of the main purposes of the federal 330 program is to provide grant
support to health centers so they can care for people without the means to
pay
• HRSA 330 funding allows health centers to offer sliding fee discounts to
reduce barriers for individuals with low annual income.
• The governing board is responsible to adopt policies for financial
management practices including a system to assure eligibility for services
and criteria for partial payment schedules.
SFDP Purpose
• The program supports the concept that patients can be monetarily
invested in their care based on their ability to pay, its implementation
is intended to minimize financial barriers to care for patients at or
below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
• Therefore, neither the fees themselves nor the supporting operating
procedures for assessing patient eligibility and collecting payment
should create barriers to care.
Sliding Fee Elements
A-L
Sliding Fee
Elements
Sliding Fee Discount Program
Chapter 9
a. SFDS for All In-scope Services
b. Board-approved SFDS Policies
c. SFDS for Column I Services
d. Multiple SFDSs
e. Incorporating the Most Recent FPG
f. Procedures for Assessing Income and Family Size
g. Documentation of Income and Family Size
h. Informing Patients of the SFDS
i. SFDS for Column II Services
j. SFDS for Column III Services
k. SFDS Patients with Third Party Coverage
l. Evaluation of the SFDS
Element A: SFDP for All In-scope Services
• Purpose
• The health center has a sliding fee
discount program that applies to all
required and additional services within
the HRSA-approved scope of project for
which there are distinct fees.
• Areas of Focus
• Interview health center staff involved in
implementing sliding fee discount
program (SFDP) policies (e.g., key
management staff, front desk staff, billing
staff, office manager
• Review the health center’s SFDP
policy(ies), procedures, schedule(s) (single
or multiple SFDSs, if applicable), and any
related policies, procedures, forms and
materials.
• Review health center’s Form 5A: Services
Provided.
Service Delivery Methods Definition
Direct Services Services that the CHC directly
provides (I.e. ProvidersW2)
FormalWritten Contract /
Agreement
Services the CHC contracts and pays
an outside vendor for (i.e. 1099,
Written Contracts, etc.)
FormalWritten Referral
Arrangements
Services the CHC refers patients to,
but does not pay for (i.e. MOU)
Compliance Focus (DoesYour SFDS Policy
Include):
Are all services within the approved scope of project
offered on a sliding fee discount schedule (for Columns I &
II) or offered under any other type of discount (for Column
III)? Services” refers to all Required andAdditional services
across all applicable service delivery methods listed on the
health center’s Form 5A for which there is a distinct fee.
☐YES ☐ NO
Required Services
Service Type
Service Delivery Methods
Column I. Direct
(Health Center Pays)
Column II. Formal Written
Contract/Agreement
(Health Center Pays)
Column III. Formal Written Referral
Arrangement
(Health Center DOES NOT pay)
General Primary Medical Care X
Diagnostic Laboratory X X
Diagnostic Radiology X X
Screenings X
Coverage for Emergencies During and After Hours X X
Voluntary Family Planning X
Immunizations X
Well Child Services X
Gynecological Care X X
Obstetrical Care
Prenatal Care X
Intrapartum Care (Labor & Delivery) X
Postpartum Care X
Preventive Dental X X X
Pharmaceutical Services X X X
Case Management X X
Eligibility Assistance X
Health Education X
Outreach X
Transportation X
Translation X X
Additional Services
Service Type
Service Delivery Methods
Column I. Direct
(Health Center Pays)
Column II. Formal Written
Contract/Agreement
(Health Center Pays)
Column III. Formal Written Referral
Arrangement
(Health Center DOES NOT pay)
Additional Dental Services X X
Behavioral Health Services
Mental Health Services X X
Substance Use Disorder Services X X
Nutrition X
Element B: Board-approved SFDP
Policies
• Purpose:
• The health center has board-approved policy(ies) for its sliding fee discount program
that apply uniformly to all patients and all service areas:
• A health center’s SFDP consists of a schedule of discounts applied to the fee schedule
and adjusts fees based on the patient’s ability to pay.A health center’s SFDP also
includes the related policies and procedures for determining sliding fee eligibility and
applying sliding fee discounts.
• Areas of Focus
• Discussion / Interview with board in regards to understanding and involvement with
SFDS
• Documentation of board involvement in setting the amount of nominal charge(s) (e.g.,
board minutes, reports) (applicable if the health center’s SFDP policy does not state a
specific amount for nominal charge(s))
• Review of board minutes to evaluate if board has approved policy, scale, etc.
Compliance Focus: DoesCHC SFDS policy
include language or address following:
Uniform applicability to all patients? ☐ YES ☐ NO
Income and family size? ☐ YES ☐ NO
Methods for assessing patient eligibility based only on
income and family size?
☐ YES ☐ NO
SFDS(s) are structured to ensure charges are adjusted
based on ability to pay (e.g., flat fee amounts differ across
discount pay classes, a graduated percent of charges for
patients with incomes above 100% and at or below 200%
of FPG)?
☐ YES ☐ NO
The setting of a nominal charge(s) for patients at or below
100% FPG?
☐ YES ☐ NO
Does the health center’s policy ensure that any/all
charge(s) for patients at or below 100% of the FPG will be
Flat Fee, Nominal Fee from patient perspective, based on
actual cost of service?
☐ YES ☐ NO
Element C: SFDP for Column I Services
• Purpose:
• For services provided directly by the health center (Form
5A: Services Provided, Column I), the health center’s
SFDS(s) is structured consistent with its policy and
provides discounts as follows:
• Areas of Focus
• A full discount is provided for individuals and families with
annual incomes at or below 100 percent of the current FPG
• Partial discounts are provided for individuals and families
with incomes above 100 percent of the current FPG and at
or below 200 percent of the current FPG, and those
discounts adjust based on gradations in income levels and
include at least three discount pay classes
• No discounts are provided to individuals and families with
annual incomes above 200% of the current FPG
• FPG, and over 200 percent of the FPG would have four
discount pay classes between 101 percent and 200 percent
of the FPG
Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy
include language or address following:
For patients with incomes at or below 100% of FPG, does
the SFDS(s) Provides full discount / Require only a nominal
charge(s) (“fee”)
☐YES ☐ NO
If the health center has a nominal charge(s), is the
nominal charge(s) less than the fee that would be paid by
patients in the first sliding fee discount pay class above
100% of FPG?
☐YES ☐ NO
For patients with incomes above 100% and at or below
200% of the FPG, does the SFDS(s) provide partial
discounts in accordance with gradations in income levels
and consist of at least three discount pay classes?
☐YES ☐ NO
For patients with incomes above 200% of the FPG, is the
SFDS(s) structured so that such patients are not eligible
for a sliding fee discount under the Health Center
Program?
☐YES ☐ NO
Element D: Multiple Sliding Fee Schedules
• Purpose:
• For health centers that choose to have
more than one SFDS, these SFDSs would
be based on services (for example, having
separate SFDSs for broad service types,
such as medical and dental, or distinct
subcategories of service types, such as
preventive dental and additional dental
services) and/or on service delivery
methods (for example, having separate
SFDSs for services provided directly by the
health center and for in-scope services
provided via formal written contract) and
no other factors.
• Areas of Focus
• Review each different SFDS in use and the
basis for the separate discount schedule(s
Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy
include language or address following:
Does the health center have more than one SFDS ☐YES ☐ NO
Is each SFDS based either on service or service delivery
method and no other factors (e.g., patient insurance
status, location of site, other demographic or patient
characteristics)?
☐YES ☐ NO
Element E: Incorporating the Most Recent FPG
Element F: Procedures for Assessing Income and Family
Size
• Purpose:
• The health center’s SFDS(s) has
incorporated the most recent FPG.
• The health center has operating procedures
for assessing/re-assessing all patients for
income and family size consistent with
board-approved sliding fee discount
program policies.
• Areas of Focus
• Reviewing FPG income brackets and
household size to ensure scale is based on
current year FPL
• Speak with eligibility or front desk staff in
regards to process and procedure on
assessment.
Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy
include language or address following:
Based on the review of the health center’s current
SFDS(s), has the health center incorporated the current
FPG in the calculations for all of the discount pay classes
☐YES ☐ NO
Does the health center have operating procedures for
assessing/re-assessing all patients (regardless of insurance
status) for income and family size?
☐YES ☐ NO
Are these procedures consistent with the board-approved
policy for the sliding fee discount program?
☐YES ☐ NO
Element G: Documentation of Income and
Family Size
• Purpose:
• The health center has records of
assessing/re-assessing patient income
and family size except in situations where
a patient has declined or refused to
provide such information.
• Areas of Focus
• Review a sample of 5-10 records, files or
other forms of documentation of patient
income and family size. Ensure the
sample includes uninsured and insured
patient categories.
Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy
include language or address following:
Did the review of the sample indicate that the health
center is consistently assessing and re-assessing patient
income and family size?
☐YES ☐ NO
In the review of form and documents, where the following
included:
Registration Form
SFDS Registration Form
Verification of Income
SFDS assigned Scale
Encounter Bill (Verify Correct Slide againstCharge)
☐YES ☐ NO
Element H: Informing Patients of the SFDP
• Purpose:
• The health center has mechanisms for informing
patients of the availability of sliding fee
discounts (for example, distributing materials in
language(s) and literacy levels appropriate for
the patient population, including information in
the intake process, publishing information on
the health center’s website).
• Areas of Focus
• Review a sample of 5-10 records, files or other
forms of documentation of patient income and
family. Ensure the sample includes uninsured
and insured patient categories.
• SiteTours,VirtualTours and review of
mechanisms for informing patients (i.e. website,
front desk, posters, flyers, etc.)
Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy
include language or address following:
Based on site tours, interviews, and review of related
materials, does the health center have mechanisms for
informing patients of the availability of sliding fee discounts
and how to apply for such discounts?
☐YES ☐ NO
Element I: SFDS for Column II Services
• Purpose:
• For in-scope services provided via contracts (Form 5A:
Services Provided, Column II, Formal Written
Contract/Agreement), the health center ensures that fees
for such services are discounted as follows
• Areas of Focus
• A full discount is provided for individuals and families with
annual incomes at or below 100 percent of the current
FPG, unless a health center elects to have a nominal
charge, which would be less than the fee paid by a patient
in the first sliding fee discount pay class above 100 percent
of the FPG.
• Partial discounts are provided for individuals and families
with incomes above 100 percent of the current FPG and at
or below 200 percent of the current FPG, and those
discounts adjust based on gradations in income levels and
include at least three discount pay classes.
• No discounts are provided to individuals and families with
annual incomes above 200 percent of the current FPG.
• Please note
• Sample of up to three written contracts/agreements for
EACH Required and EACHAdditional service provided
via Column II but NOT provided via Column I.
• One written contract/agreement for EACH Required and
EACHAdditional service provided via Column I AND
Column I
Compliance Focus: Services provided via
contracts (Form 5A: Services Provided,
Column II).
For patients receiving service(s) through these
contracts/agreements, has the health center ensured that
sliding fee discounts are provided in a manner that meets all
Health Center Program requirements (e.g., health center
applies its own SFDS to amounts owed by eligible patients;
contract contains specific sliding fee provisions; contracted
services are provided by another health center which applies
an SFDS that meets structural requirements)?
☐YES ☐ NO
For patients with incomes at or below 100% of FPG, has the
health center ensured that such patients are: Provided a full
discount?Assessed a nominal charge / fee?
☐YES ☐ NO
If there is a nominal charge, is the nominal charge less than
the fee that would be paid by patients in the first sliding fee
discount pay class above 100% of FPG?
☐YES ☐ NO
For patients with incomes above 100% and at or below 200%
of the FPG, does the SFDS(s) provide partial discounts in
accordance with gradations in income levels and consist of at
least three discount pay classes?
☐YES ☐ NO
For patients with incomes above 200% of the FPG, is the
SFDS(s) structured so that such patients are not eligible for a
sliding fee discount under the Health Center Program?
☐YES ☐ NO
Element J: Sliding Fee for Column III Service
• Purpose:
• For services provided via formal referral arrangements
(Form 5A: Services Provided, Column III), the health center
ensures that fees for such services are either discounted as
described in element “c” above or discounted in a manner
such that:
• Areas of Focus
• Individuals and families with incomes above 100 percent of
the current FPG and at or below 200 percent of the FPG
receive an equal or greater discount for these services than
if the health center’s SFDS were applied to the referral
provider’s fee schedule; and
• Individuals and families at or below 100 percent of the FPG
receive a full discount or a nominal charge for these
services
• Please note
• Sample of up to three written contracts/agreements for
EACH Required and EACHAdditional service provided
via Column II but NOT provided via Column I.
• One written contract/agreement for EACH Required and
EACHAdditional service provided via Column I AND
Column I
Compliance Focus: For patients receiving
service through these referral arrangements,
has the health center ensured that sliding fee
discounts are EITHER provided in a manner
that meets the structural requirements noted
in Element “c” OR discounted in a manner
such that:
Individuals and families with incomes above 100% of the
current FPG and at or below 200% of the FPG receive an equal
or greater discount for these services than if the health center’s
SFDS were applied to the referral provider’s fee schedule (e.g.,
health center has a referral arrangement with organizations
that charge no fee at all for patients at or below 200% of the
FPG)
☐YES ☐ NO
Individuals and families at or below 100% of the FPG receive a
full discount or a nominal charge for these services?
☐YES ☐ NO
Element K: Sliding Fee Patients with Third Party
Coverage
• Purpose:
• Health center patients who are eligible for sliding fee
discounts and have third-party coverage are charged no
more for any out-of-pocket costs than they would have
paid under the applicable SFDS discount pay class.41 Such
discounts are subject to potential legal and contractual
restriction
• Example
• An insured patient receives a health center service for
which the health center has established a fee of $80, per its
fee schedule. Based on the patient’s insurance plan, the co-
pay would be $60 for this service.
• The health center also has determined, through an
assessment of income and family size, that the patient’s
income is 150 percent of the FPG and thus qualifies for the
health center’s SFDS.Under the SFDS, a patient with an
income at 150 percent of the FPG would receive a 50
percent discount of the $80 fee, resulting in a charge of $40
for this service.
• Rather than the $60 co-pay, the health center would
charge the patient no more than $40 out-of-pocket,
consistent with its SFDS, as long as this is not precluded or
prohibited by the applicable insurance contract.
Compliance Focus: Patients with third party
insurance having ability to access SFDS
Based on interviews and a review of related documents, does
the health center ensure that patients who are eligible for
sliding fee discounts and who have third-party coverage are
charged no more for any out-of-pocket costs (e.g.,
deductibles, co-pays, and services not covered by the plan)
than they would have paid under the applicable SFDS
discount pay class?
☐YES ☐ NO
Element L: Evaluation of the SFDP
• Purpose:
• The health center evaluates, at least once every
three years, its sliding fee discount program. At
a minimum, the health center:
• Area of Focus
• Collects utilization data that allows it to assess
the rate at which patients within each of its
discount pay classes, as well as those at or below
100 percent of the FPG, are accessing health
center services;
• Utilizes this and, if applicable, other data (for
example, results of patient satisfaction surveys
or focus groups, surveys of patients at various
income levels) to evaluate the effectiveness of
its sliding fee discount program in reducing
financial barriers to care; and
• Identifies and implements changes as needed.
Compliance Focus: How to evaluate SFDS
Does the health center collect data that allow it to assess
whether patients within each of its discount pay classes are
accessing health center services?
☐YES ☐ NO
Does the health center utilize these data and, if applicable, any
other data, to evaluate the effectiveness of its sliding fee
discount program at least once every three years?
☐YES ☐ NO
Has the health center implemented any follow-up actions
based on evaluation results (e.g., changes to sliding fee
discount program policy by board, implementation of
improved eligibility screening processes or notification
methods for sliding fee discounts)?
☐YES ☐ NO
Additional
Considerations
Associated with SFDP
Additional Considerations from
Elements A to L
• The health center determines whether to establish a nominal charge for individuals and families at or below
100% of the FPG.
• The health center determines how to document income and family size in health center records.
• The health center determines whether to take into consideration the characteristics of its patient population
when developing definitions for income and family size and procedures for assessing patient eligibility for
SFDS. For example, the health center may consider the availability of income documentation for individuals
experiencing homelessness, build in cost of living considerations when calculating income, permit self-
declaration of income and family size.
• The health center determines how and with what frequency to re-assess patient eligibility for the SFDS.
• The health center determines whether to identify individuals who refuse to provide information on income
and family size as ineligible for SFDS.
• The health center determines how to make patients aware of sliding fee discounts (for example, signage,
registration process).
Additional Considerations from
Elements A to L
• The health center must operate in a manner such that no patient shall be denied service due to
an individual’s inability to pay.1
• The health center must prepare a schedule of fees or payments for the provision of its services
consistent with locally prevailing rates or charges and designed to cover its reasonable costs of
operation and must prepare a corresponding schedule of discounts [sliding fee discount schedule
(SFDS)] to be applied to the payment of such fees or payments, by which discounts are adjusted
on the basis of the patient's ability to pay.
• The health center must establish systems for [sliding fee] eligibility determination.
• The health center’s schedule of discounts must provide for:
• A full discount to individuals and families with annual incomes at or below those set forth in the most
recent Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) [100% of the FPG], except that nominal charges for service may be
collected from such individuals and families where imposition of such fees is consistent with project goals; and
• No discount to individuals and families with annual incomes greater than twice those set forth in such
Guidelines [200% of the FPG].
Using the Sliding Fee
Program inYour Health
Center
How can you use the SFDP in your Health
Center?
• Valuable Data
• Can provide information on the patients that you serve
• Can provide information on financial viability
• Can help to determine if additional services are needed for patients
Questions?

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Compliatric continuous compliance series chapter 9

  • 1. Chapter 9 Sliding Fee Discount Program Presented By Don Holloman, M.Ed. 10/28/20
  • 2. Disclaimers • This presentation is not endorsed by Management Strategist Consulting Group (MSCG) • This presentation is not endorsed by Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) or Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) • Independent consultant who is contracted to do Operational SiteVisits (OSVs)/Technical Assistance (TA) • Not intended to provide legal advice
  • 3. Chapter 9 Sliding Fee Discount Program (SFDP) • Purpose of SFDP Program • Elements A to L • Element purpose • Compliance focus area & questions to evaluate your SFDP policy • Areas of focus • Additional considerations for elements
  • 5. SFDP Purpose • One of the main purposes of the federal 330 program is to provide grant support to health centers so they can care for people without the means to pay • HRSA 330 funding allows health centers to offer sliding fee discounts to reduce barriers for individuals with low annual income. • The governing board is responsible to adopt policies for financial management practices including a system to assure eligibility for services and criteria for partial payment schedules.
  • 6. SFDP Purpose • The program supports the concept that patients can be monetarily invested in their care based on their ability to pay, its implementation is intended to minimize financial barriers to care for patients at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). • Therefore, neither the fees themselves nor the supporting operating procedures for assessing patient eligibility and collecting payment should create barriers to care.
  • 8. Sliding Fee Elements Sliding Fee Discount Program Chapter 9 a. SFDS for All In-scope Services b. Board-approved SFDS Policies c. SFDS for Column I Services d. Multiple SFDSs e. Incorporating the Most Recent FPG f. Procedures for Assessing Income and Family Size g. Documentation of Income and Family Size h. Informing Patients of the SFDS i. SFDS for Column II Services j. SFDS for Column III Services k. SFDS Patients with Third Party Coverage l. Evaluation of the SFDS
  • 9. Element A: SFDP for All In-scope Services • Purpose • The health center has a sliding fee discount program that applies to all required and additional services within the HRSA-approved scope of project for which there are distinct fees. • Areas of Focus • Interview health center staff involved in implementing sliding fee discount program (SFDP) policies (e.g., key management staff, front desk staff, billing staff, office manager • Review the health center’s SFDP policy(ies), procedures, schedule(s) (single or multiple SFDSs, if applicable), and any related policies, procedures, forms and materials. • Review health center’s Form 5A: Services Provided. Service Delivery Methods Definition Direct Services Services that the CHC directly provides (I.e. ProvidersW2) FormalWritten Contract / Agreement Services the CHC contracts and pays an outside vendor for (i.e. 1099, Written Contracts, etc.) FormalWritten Referral Arrangements Services the CHC refers patients to, but does not pay for (i.e. MOU) Compliance Focus (DoesYour SFDS Policy Include): Are all services within the approved scope of project offered on a sliding fee discount schedule (for Columns I & II) or offered under any other type of discount (for Column III)? Services” refers to all Required andAdditional services across all applicable service delivery methods listed on the health center’s Form 5A for which there is a distinct fee. ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 10. Required Services Service Type Service Delivery Methods Column I. Direct (Health Center Pays) Column II. Formal Written Contract/Agreement (Health Center Pays) Column III. Formal Written Referral Arrangement (Health Center DOES NOT pay) General Primary Medical Care X Diagnostic Laboratory X X Diagnostic Radiology X X Screenings X Coverage for Emergencies During and After Hours X X Voluntary Family Planning X Immunizations X Well Child Services X Gynecological Care X X Obstetrical Care Prenatal Care X Intrapartum Care (Labor & Delivery) X Postpartum Care X Preventive Dental X X X Pharmaceutical Services X X X Case Management X X Eligibility Assistance X Health Education X Outreach X Transportation X Translation X X Additional Services Service Type Service Delivery Methods Column I. Direct (Health Center Pays) Column II. Formal Written Contract/Agreement (Health Center Pays) Column III. Formal Written Referral Arrangement (Health Center DOES NOT pay) Additional Dental Services X X Behavioral Health Services Mental Health Services X X Substance Use Disorder Services X X Nutrition X
  • 11. Element B: Board-approved SFDP Policies • Purpose: • The health center has board-approved policy(ies) for its sliding fee discount program that apply uniformly to all patients and all service areas: • A health center’s SFDP consists of a schedule of discounts applied to the fee schedule and adjusts fees based on the patient’s ability to pay.A health center’s SFDP also includes the related policies and procedures for determining sliding fee eligibility and applying sliding fee discounts. • Areas of Focus • Discussion / Interview with board in regards to understanding and involvement with SFDS • Documentation of board involvement in setting the amount of nominal charge(s) (e.g., board minutes, reports) (applicable if the health center’s SFDP policy does not state a specific amount for nominal charge(s)) • Review of board minutes to evaluate if board has approved policy, scale, etc. Compliance Focus: DoesCHC SFDS policy include language or address following: Uniform applicability to all patients? ☐ YES ☐ NO Income and family size? ☐ YES ☐ NO Methods for assessing patient eligibility based only on income and family size? ☐ YES ☐ NO SFDS(s) are structured to ensure charges are adjusted based on ability to pay (e.g., flat fee amounts differ across discount pay classes, a graduated percent of charges for patients with incomes above 100% and at or below 200% of FPG)? ☐ YES ☐ NO The setting of a nominal charge(s) for patients at or below 100% FPG? ☐ YES ☐ NO Does the health center’s policy ensure that any/all charge(s) for patients at or below 100% of the FPG will be Flat Fee, Nominal Fee from patient perspective, based on actual cost of service? ☐ YES ☐ NO
  • 12. Element C: SFDP for Column I Services • Purpose: • For services provided directly by the health center (Form 5A: Services Provided, Column I), the health center’s SFDS(s) is structured consistent with its policy and provides discounts as follows: • Areas of Focus • A full discount is provided for individuals and families with annual incomes at or below 100 percent of the current FPG • Partial discounts are provided for individuals and families with incomes above 100 percent of the current FPG and at or below 200 percent of the current FPG, and those discounts adjust based on gradations in income levels and include at least three discount pay classes • No discounts are provided to individuals and families with annual incomes above 200% of the current FPG • FPG, and over 200 percent of the FPG would have four discount pay classes between 101 percent and 200 percent of the FPG Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy include language or address following: For patients with incomes at or below 100% of FPG, does the SFDS(s) Provides full discount / Require only a nominal charge(s) (“fee”) ☐YES ☐ NO If the health center has a nominal charge(s), is the nominal charge(s) less than the fee that would be paid by patients in the first sliding fee discount pay class above 100% of FPG? ☐YES ☐ NO For patients with incomes above 100% and at or below 200% of the FPG, does the SFDS(s) provide partial discounts in accordance with gradations in income levels and consist of at least three discount pay classes? ☐YES ☐ NO For patients with incomes above 200% of the FPG, is the SFDS(s) structured so that such patients are not eligible for a sliding fee discount under the Health Center Program? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 13. Element D: Multiple Sliding Fee Schedules • Purpose: • For health centers that choose to have more than one SFDS, these SFDSs would be based on services (for example, having separate SFDSs for broad service types, such as medical and dental, or distinct subcategories of service types, such as preventive dental and additional dental services) and/or on service delivery methods (for example, having separate SFDSs for services provided directly by the health center and for in-scope services provided via formal written contract) and no other factors. • Areas of Focus • Review each different SFDS in use and the basis for the separate discount schedule(s Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy include language or address following: Does the health center have more than one SFDS ☐YES ☐ NO Is each SFDS based either on service or service delivery method and no other factors (e.g., patient insurance status, location of site, other demographic or patient characteristics)? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 14. Element E: Incorporating the Most Recent FPG Element F: Procedures for Assessing Income and Family Size • Purpose: • The health center’s SFDS(s) has incorporated the most recent FPG. • The health center has operating procedures for assessing/re-assessing all patients for income and family size consistent with board-approved sliding fee discount program policies. • Areas of Focus • Reviewing FPG income brackets and household size to ensure scale is based on current year FPL • Speak with eligibility or front desk staff in regards to process and procedure on assessment. Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy include language or address following: Based on the review of the health center’s current SFDS(s), has the health center incorporated the current FPG in the calculations for all of the discount pay classes ☐YES ☐ NO Does the health center have operating procedures for assessing/re-assessing all patients (regardless of insurance status) for income and family size? ☐YES ☐ NO Are these procedures consistent with the board-approved policy for the sliding fee discount program? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 15. Element G: Documentation of Income and Family Size • Purpose: • The health center has records of assessing/re-assessing patient income and family size except in situations where a patient has declined or refused to provide such information. • Areas of Focus • Review a sample of 5-10 records, files or other forms of documentation of patient income and family size. Ensure the sample includes uninsured and insured patient categories. Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy include language or address following: Did the review of the sample indicate that the health center is consistently assessing and re-assessing patient income and family size? ☐YES ☐ NO In the review of form and documents, where the following included: Registration Form SFDS Registration Form Verification of Income SFDS assigned Scale Encounter Bill (Verify Correct Slide againstCharge) ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 16. Element H: Informing Patients of the SFDP • Purpose: • The health center has mechanisms for informing patients of the availability of sliding fee discounts (for example, distributing materials in language(s) and literacy levels appropriate for the patient population, including information in the intake process, publishing information on the health center’s website). • Areas of Focus • Review a sample of 5-10 records, files or other forms of documentation of patient income and family. Ensure the sample includes uninsured and insured patient categories. • SiteTours,VirtualTours and review of mechanisms for informing patients (i.e. website, front desk, posters, flyers, etc.) Compliance Focus: Does CHC SFDS policy include language or address following: Based on site tours, interviews, and review of related materials, does the health center have mechanisms for informing patients of the availability of sliding fee discounts and how to apply for such discounts? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 17. Element I: SFDS for Column II Services • Purpose: • For in-scope services provided via contracts (Form 5A: Services Provided, Column II, Formal Written Contract/Agreement), the health center ensures that fees for such services are discounted as follows • Areas of Focus • A full discount is provided for individuals and families with annual incomes at or below 100 percent of the current FPG, unless a health center elects to have a nominal charge, which would be less than the fee paid by a patient in the first sliding fee discount pay class above 100 percent of the FPG. • Partial discounts are provided for individuals and families with incomes above 100 percent of the current FPG and at or below 200 percent of the current FPG, and those discounts adjust based on gradations in income levels and include at least three discount pay classes. • No discounts are provided to individuals and families with annual incomes above 200 percent of the current FPG. • Please note • Sample of up to three written contracts/agreements for EACH Required and EACHAdditional service provided via Column II but NOT provided via Column I. • One written contract/agreement for EACH Required and EACHAdditional service provided via Column I AND Column I Compliance Focus: Services provided via contracts (Form 5A: Services Provided, Column II). For patients receiving service(s) through these contracts/agreements, has the health center ensured that sliding fee discounts are provided in a manner that meets all Health Center Program requirements (e.g., health center applies its own SFDS to amounts owed by eligible patients; contract contains specific sliding fee provisions; contracted services are provided by another health center which applies an SFDS that meets structural requirements)? ☐YES ☐ NO For patients with incomes at or below 100% of FPG, has the health center ensured that such patients are: Provided a full discount?Assessed a nominal charge / fee? ☐YES ☐ NO If there is a nominal charge, is the nominal charge less than the fee that would be paid by patients in the first sliding fee discount pay class above 100% of FPG? ☐YES ☐ NO For patients with incomes above 100% and at or below 200% of the FPG, does the SFDS(s) provide partial discounts in accordance with gradations in income levels and consist of at least three discount pay classes? ☐YES ☐ NO For patients with incomes above 200% of the FPG, is the SFDS(s) structured so that such patients are not eligible for a sliding fee discount under the Health Center Program? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 18. Element J: Sliding Fee for Column III Service • Purpose: • For services provided via formal referral arrangements (Form 5A: Services Provided, Column III), the health center ensures that fees for such services are either discounted as described in element “c” above or discounted in a manner such that: • Areas of Focus • Individuals and families with incomes above 100 percent of the current FPG and at or below 200 percent of the FPG receive an equal or greater discount for these services than if the health center’s SFDS were applied to the referral provider’s fee schedule; and • Individuals and families at or below 100 percent of the FPG receive a full discount or a nominal charge for these services • Please note • Sample of up to three written contracts/agreements for EACH Required and EACHAdditional service provided via Column II but NOT provided via Column I. • One written contract/agreement for EACH Required and EACHAdditional service provided via Column I AND Column I Compliance Focus: For patients receiving service through these referral arrangements, has the health center ensured that sliding fee discounts are EITHER provided in a manner that meets the structural requirements noted in Element “c” OR discounted in a manner such that: Individuals and families with incomes above 100% of the current FPG and at or below 200% of the FPG receive an equal or greater discount for these services than if the health center’s SFDS were applied to the referral provider’s fee schedule (e.g., health center has a referral arrangement with organizations that charge no fee at all for patients at or below 200% of the FPG) ☐YES ☐ NO Individuals and families at or below 100% of the FPG receive a full discount or a nominal charge for these services? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 19. Element K: Sliding Fee Patients with Third Party Coverage • Purpose: • Health center patients who are eligible for sliding fee discounts and have third-party coverage are charged no more for any out-of-pocket costs than they would have paid under the applicable SFDS discount pay class.41 Such discounts are subject to potential legal and contractual restriction • Example • An insured patient receives a health center service for which the health center has established a fee of $80, per its fee schedule. Based on the patient’s insurance plan, the co- pay would be $60 for this service. • The health center also has determined, through an assessment of income and family size, that the patient’s income is 150 percent of the FPG and thus qualifies for the health center’s SFDS.Under the SFDS, a patient with an income at 150 percent of the FPG would receive a 50 percent discount of the $80 fee, resulting in a charge of $40 for this service. • Rather than the $60 co-pay, the health center would charge the patient no more than $40 out-of-pocket, consistent with its SFDS, as long as this is not precluded or prohibited by the applicable insurance contract. Compliance Focus: Patients with third party insurance having ability to access SFDS Based on interviews and a review of related documents, does the health center ensure that patients who are eligible for sliding fee discounts and who have third-party coverage are charged no more for any out-of-pocket costs (e.g., deductibles, co-pays, and services not covered by the plan) than they would have paid under the applicable SFDS discount pay class? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 20. Element L: Evaluation of the SFDP • Purpose: • The health center evaluates, at least once every three years, its sliding fee discount program. At a minimum, the health center: • Area of Focus • Collects utilization data that allows it to assess the rate at which patients within each of its discount pay classes, as well as those at or below 100 percent of the FPG, are accessing health center services; • Utilizes this and, if applicable, other data (for example, results of patient satisfaction surveys or focus groups, surveys of patients at various income levels) to evaluate the effectiveness of its sliding fee discount program in reducing financial barriers to care; and • Identifies and implements changes as needed. Compliance Focus: How to evaluate SFDS Does the health center collect data that allow it to assess whether patients within each of its discount pay classes are accessing health center services? ☐YES ☐ NO Does the health center utilize these data and, if applicable, any other data, to evaluate the effectiveness of its sliding fee discount program at least once every three years? ☐YES ☐ NO Has the health center implemented any follow-up actions based on evaluation results (e.g., changes to sliding fee discount program policy by board, implementation of improved eligibility screening processes or notification methods for sliding fee discounts)? ☐YES ☐ NO
  • 22. Additional Considerations from Elements A to L • The health center determines whether to establish a nominal charge for individuals and families at or below 100% of the FPG. • The health center determines how to document income and family size in health center records. • The health center determines whether to take into consideration the characteristics of its patient population when developing definitions for income and family size and procedures for assessing patient eligibility for SFDS. For example, the health center may consider the availability of income documentation for individuals experiencing homelessness, build in cost of living considerations when calculating income, permit self- declaration of income and family size. • The health center determines how and with what frequency to re-assess patient eligibility for the SFDS. • The health center determines whether to identify individuals who refuse to provide information on income and family size as ineligible for SFDS. • The health center determines how to make patients aware of sliding fee discounts (for example, signage, registration process).
  • 23. Additional Considerations from Elements A to L • The health center must operate in a manner such that no patient shall be denied service due to an individual’s inability to pay.1 • The health center must prepare a schedule of fees or payments for the provision of its services consistent with locally prevailing rates or charges and designed to cover its reasonable costs of operation and must prepare a corresponding schedule of discounts [sliding fee discount schedule (SFDS)] to be applied to the payment of such fees or payments, by which discounts are adjusted on the basis of the patient's ability to pay. • The health center must establish systems for [sliding fee] eligibility determination. • The health center’s schedule of discounts must provide for: • A full discount to individuals and families with annual incomes at or below those set forth in the most recent Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) [100% of the FPG], except that nominal charges for service may be collected from such individuals and families where imposition of such fees is consistent with project goals; and • No discount to individuals and families with annual incomes greater than twice those set forth in such Guidelines [200% of the FPG].
  • 24. Using the Sliding Fee Program inYour Health Center
  • 25. How can you use the SFDP in your Health Center? • Valuable Data • Can provide information on the patients that you serve • Can provide information on financial viability • Can help to determine if additional services are needed for patients