Approximately 43,000 former patients of Santa Clara Valley Healthcare, serving Santa Clara County in California, will soon receive notice of possible billing corrections and refunds.
The increased patient outreach efforts are part of the settlement of a lawsuit that alleged the county did not adequately inform three former patients about its previous hospital charity care and discount payment policies after they incurred bills ranging from $8,000 to $35,000 between 2013 and 2017. The bills were sent to collections, according to Santa Clara County.
At the time of their hospitalization, one petitioner was uninsured who was a single mother of two children and a full-time student; another was uninsured and spoke primarily Spanish; and the third was unemployed and unhoused.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
As part of the settlement, the county will provide an opportunity for patients whose bills were sent to collections between October 28, 2018, and December 31, 2021, to have their bills re-reviewed for full or partial discounts.
People who receive this notice will have 65 days to complete and return a form indicating their interest to apply. They’ll then have an additional 150 days to complete their application by submitting documents to verify their information.