CHI Franciscan – which owns and operates Highline Medical Center in Burien – announced on Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020 that it is suspending billing for COVID-19 coronavirus testing and treatment system-wide.

This effort will expand access to COVID-19 care across CHI Franciscan’s eight acute care hospitals and more than 200 clinics, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

CHI is part of CommonSpirit Health, which has hundreds of hospitals and clinics serving patients across 21 states, and will suspend sending patient bills related to the testing and treatment of COVID-19. CommonSpirit will continue to work with payers and federal, state, and local officials to determine the cost-sharing associated with providing care related to COVID-19.

“The last thing our patients should worry about if they experience symptoms characteristic of this coronavirus is the cost of seeking care,” said Lloyd H. Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health. “While we cannot yet know how COVID-19 will spread in the days and weeks ahead, our care sites will remain available to our communities. The most important thing now is for people who experience symptoms of the coronavirus to contact their health care provider and seek medical care if directed to do so.”

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, CommonSpirit’s health professionals will remain vigilant in identifying, isolating, and treating all people who come to the system’s facilities.

Anyone who has concerns about coronavirus exposure or has mild symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath should call a medical professional immediately. If someone experiences severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, or new confusion, they should seek medical care immediately and let the care team know about their respiratory symptoms.

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