Great River Medical Center in Burlington to begin collecting co-payments

BURLINGTON, Iowa - If you have to go to the emergency room at Great River Medical Center in Burlington expect to have to pay up front.

"The only thing that is changing is that we are giving the option to patients to pay at the time of service versus after the fact," saidĀ Donna Wirt, Director of Revenue Cycle.

The hospital is changing the way it asks for payment, starting on February 1st instead of waiting for a bill in the mail, you'll be asked to pay a co-payment right after you receive treatment.

Patients who have insurance without a co-payment will be asked to pay a $200 down payment and patients without insurance coverage will be asked to pay a $400 down payment.

"There will be some self pay patients that cannot afford that and that is why we have an excellent financial assistance program, we want to get the patients connected with a financial counselor as soon as possible," said Wirt.

A visit to the ER is the most expensive level of care and the price you pay for care won't change, just the way you make your payment.

"If you can collect that at the point of service and having to save going through two or three bills and all that billing it just saves a lot of money to do that," saidĀ Michael McCoy, Chief Medical Officer .