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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a scientific research and treatment center dedicated to developing cures for pediatric cancers and other catastrophic childhood diseases. The vast majority of children who are accepted for treatment at St. Jude are enrolled in research studies, based upon referrals from their local physician and according to St. Jude’s acceptance policy. Providing treatment according to prospectively designed clinical trials that are interfaced with laboratory research has been critical to advancements made in the treatment of childhood cancers at St. Jude, and all St. Jude discoveries are shared freely with the world. All children are treated at St. Jude regardless of race, religion, or ability to pay. A billing system is maintained for each patient, but bills are not sent to any patient. If the patient has insurance, the hospital bills the patient’s health insurance plan. By collecting insurance payments that would be due had the patient received treatment at nearly any other hospital in the country, and with the assistance of St. Jude donors, St. Jude has been able to use our financial resources to conduct cutting-edge research and cover treatments, copays, deductibles, and coinsurance that are not covered by insurance. This has allowed our clinical and translational research to make major advances in cure rates for childhood cancers and to improve the treatment of sickle cell disease and other catastrophic diseases in children. Thus, any legal obligation of payment for a patient’s costs that are not covered by insurance is covered by the generous assistance of St. Jude donors with the result that St. Jude does not ask a patient to pay.
The method of applying for financial assistance at St. Jude is universal and conforms to the principles stated. All St. Jude patients receive the same financial assistance. St. Jude does not pursue collection efforts against any patient family.
This Financial Assistance Policy is required to be made public by every hospital in the United States as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Regulatory and legal interpretations of the impact of PPACA are evolving. However, for purposes of admission to St. Jude, once a patient is accepted for treatment, this policy is not altered.