18 Jan 2012

American Samoa hospital enforced account payment policy

10:55 am on 18 January 2012

An official at the LBJ Hospital in American Samoa says no one is being refused treatment or medication, despite a newly enforced policy requiring patients to pay 10% of any hopsital bill, prior to further treatment.

From November last year, the hospital's account receivables reached $15 million, and of that $6.5 million was for non resident patient bills.

The hospital's chief financial officer, Viola Babcock, said they have sucessfully brought down accounts for non resident patients, with assistance from the Office of the Attorney General.

She said a Memorandum of Understanding between LBJ and the AG's Office is under negotiation for the collection of hospital fees from immigration sponsors, in accordance with the law.

Viola Babcock said the hospital also has a sliding fee scale to patients who are not able to pay, forgiving a portion, or all, of the bill based on income and the number per household.