Local hospital system temporarily slashes patient bills due to COVID-19

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 12:56 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 1:14 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A local hospital system is slashing patients' medical bills in half, however, they have to pay it all at once and before Sept. 1.

Baylor Scott & White Health is offering a 50-percent discount on outstanding balances--paid in full--through the end of August system-wide, hospital officials confirmed to KWTX Thursday.

"As part of our commitment to serve the community and provide quality medical care to all of our patients, Baylor Scott & White has made several changes to our normal billing and collection practices during the COVID-19 crisis," hospital officials said in a statement.

Gholson mother Kendra Ballew said she heard about the offer through a family member, and she didn't believe it at first.

"I wasn't sure if it was actually true, and my husband had me call the next day," said Ballew.

Earlier this week, Ballew's husband called and paid half of the $2,600 he owed then filled out a form over the phone and was promised the remaining $1,300 balance would be wiped away.

"It's been cleared up," he said. "I was fairly pleased with the process."

The couple has accumulated several medical bills with BSW since they had their first child together at Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco last year.

"Both of ours combined, we were paying off almost $7,000 in medical bills, and so half of that, we're going to be saving close to $3,500, which allows us to focus on other bills and work toward building a new house," said Ballew.

She says it was an easy process and they've been spreading the word.

"I told my whole family, friends, a lot of them didn't believe me at first, my dad was actually one of them, I actually helped him do it the other day and they paid theirs off as well," said Ballew. "It's just really helpful, especially with being a stay-at-home mom with my one-year-old and two step daughters."

The family's food and utility bills have gone up as a result of COVID-19, she says.

"It helps with COVID-related stuff as we're staying home a lot more," said Ballew.

Her husband says anyone who can do it, should take advantage of the offer while it lasts.

"I'm in a position where I can pay some of these bills off with the plan they're doing for us, which is helping my family out a lot," he said. "But I know others who aren't as fortunate as me, so I hope they find a way so this helps them, too."

Hospital officials stressed: the offer is meant for families who need it.

They also wanted to clarify, the offer is only for preexisting bills and doesn't apply to co-pays or future visits, and not everyone may qualify.

For more information, visit the hospital’s website.

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