Aspen hospital tries to recoup lost revenue |

Aspen hospital tries to recoup lost revenue

ASPEN – Around 6,000 old bills, some more than a year late, have been sent to former patients of Aspen Valley Hospital in one the institution’s largest efforts yet to recoup revenue lost from years of inadequate billing practices.The bills have been sent with a form letter apologizing for the tardiness and offering a 5 percent discount to those who pay within 30 days.AVH spokeswoman Ginny Dyche said the bills charge only for co-pay or deductible payments that have gone uncollected. The mass mailing indicates a cleaning out of the uncollected bills.”All these accounts are for balances due after insurance payments – such as deductibles and co-pays,” Dyche said. “Because of system problems, these bills didn’t get sent to patients on time. We are now fully automated and are getting old bills out of the system and new bills out on time.”Last winter the hospital discovered flaws in its billing office that nearly led to bankruptcy. Millions of dollars in bills were not sent to patients. Hospital officials have warned for months that the effort to collect these bills was not over, regardless of how old the bills were.While insurance companies are often not required to pay bills older than six months, no such leeway exists for patients, Dyche said.The letter with the bills explains the hospital’s recent financial woes. Dyche did not know exactly how much money the 6,000 bills represent. She said that while the current mailing represents an important step toward recouping unpaid invoices, it is not the last of such efforts.

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