Affirmation of Patient Billing Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions

The AHA encourages hospitals and health systems to affirm their commitment to adopt the association's Patient Billing Guidelines. Explore the FAQs below as well as the Affirmation page to learn more about this effort.

  • The AHA has been actively engaged in identifying and promoting best practices in patient billing, including adopting and updating guidelines for the field in 2003, 2006, 2012 and 2020. The next step in this important work is for all hospitals and health systems to publicly affirm their commitment to the guidelines. The AHA is inviting every hospital and health system to join the Affirmation effort. This action will reinforce our field’s commitment to patients from the bedside to the billing office.

  • Fact:

    The guidelines are available here on AHA’s website.

  • The AHA relied on input from our Board of Trustees, as well as hospital leaders through AHA’s various committees, task forces and policy boards, as well as leaders from state, regional and metropolitan hospital associations. In addition, these guidelines were shared with outside groups, such as the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). The process started in 2019 and concluded with the AHA Board’s approval in April 2020.

    This process evaluated past AHA guidelines on patient billing and was committed from the outset to aligning with the following principles:

    1. Treating all people equitably, with dignity, respect and compassion;
    2. Serving the emergency health care needs of all, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay; and
    3. Assisting patients who cannot pay for part or all of the care they receive.
  • To help hospitals and health systems improve their patient billing the AHA offers a variety of resources, such as an issue brief examining ways to enhance patient billing, case studies, podcasts with hospitals that have improved their billing processes and links to other leaders in patient billing. Visit AHA’s webpage for the resources.

  • Yes. Non-AHA member hospitals are encouraged to participate in the Affirmation campaign.

  • Please check your email box. AHA October 28 emailed a dedicated link to the CEOs/Primary contacts for hospitals and health systems.

  • AHA Survey Support can assist with re-sending a dedicated link. Please email surveysupport@aha.org and include your organization’s name, city and state.

  • We encourage organizations to join the Affirmation by Dec. 31, 2021, but hospitals can sign up at any time.

  • The AHA intends to share the names of participating organizations on our website in 2022.

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