Our mission is to expand primary health care to those who need it most. In order to meet that mission, our clinical sites that provide comprehensive medical, dental, and/or behavioral health care to all regardless of ability to pay. The National Health Service Corps statute mandates that National Health Service Corps approved sites “not deny requested health care services, and shall not discriminate in the provision of services to an individual… because the individual is unable to pay for the services.” It stipulates, “the entity shall prepare a schedule of discounts (including, in appropriate cases, waivers) to be applied to the payment of such fees or payments."

In preparing the schedule, Trinity Community Health Centers of Louisiana shall adjust the discounts on the basis of a patient’s ability to pay. Specifically, the Sliding Fee Discount Program must include establishing the following: (1) a schedule of fees for services; (2) a corresponding schedule of discounts for eligible patients based on the patient’s ability to pay; and (3) policies and operating procedures, including those around applying for the discount program.

While the Sliding Fee Discount Program supports the concept that patients can be monetarily invested in their care based on their ability to pay, its implementation is intended to minimize financial barriers to care for patients at or below 200 percent of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines. Therefore, neither the fees themselves nor the supporting operating procedures for assessing patient eligibility and collecting payment should create barriers to care.

The Federal Poverty Guidelines, includes the income thresholds used by the U.S. Census Bureau to estimate the number of people living in poverty. The thresholds are annual income levels below which a person or family is considered to be living in poverty. The income threshold increases by a constant amount for each additional family member.