COVINGTON -- Newton Medical Center announced Friday afternoon that beginning Monday there will be a $150 up-front deposit for Emergency Room patients who are uninsured and who are not suffering from an emergency medical condition. Insured patients will be required to pay their co-pay or deductible.
The new rule will go into effect at 9 a.m.
"This is something we've been considering for sometime now," said Linda Mosely Komich, director of marketing and business development for the hospital. "Actually all other hospitals in the area do this in some form or fashion. This not about making money. This is about preserving the emergency department for what it was intended -- it was intended for emergencies."
The statement went on to say, "Per the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA,) all patients will continue to receive a medical examination and offered treatment. If a patient is determined to have an emergency, they will continue to receive care, regardless of ability to pay. However, if a patient is determined not to have an emergency, and still requests further treatment, they will be required to pay a $150 initial deposit via cash, credit or debit card for services rendered. Patients that choose to seek care elsewhere will be given a community resource guide for available services."
Mosely emphasized that residents who feel they are suffering an emergency, whether they have money to pay or not, should seek medical assistance.
"Nobody should ever hesitate to come," she said. "Come to the hospital if you are having an emergency."