One of the key requirements to determine what communities area eligible for Low-Income Population HPSAs is the measurement of how many physicians accept Medicaid and Sliding-Fee Scale patients. Sliding Fee Scales are for patients who cannot afford the cost of their medical care and need a charitable discount to make healthcare and basic medical care possible.
One of the better question and answer pages on Sliding Fee Scales comes from the Arizona Dept. of Health Services.
What the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday, is what many states do not allow: cash discounts. In the wide-ranging discussions and debates on healthcare, what the daily newspaper found is shocking. One patient would have had a CT cost thousands of dollars less if they had paid in cash rather than using any form of medical insurance.
The article is available here.
The moral of the story is that Sliding Fee Scales and Cash Discounts are similar, but not the same, and can be given for entirely different reasons.