Attempting to figure out how your medical bills are determined and how they get paid can sometimes be a guessing game that can leave you confused and frustrated. Below you will find some commonly asked questions regarding medical bills and some concise responses that we hope will make future transactions with the hospital easier.
R: We will generally send a bill to the insurance company in a week to 10 days. Medicare and Medicaid pay claims in 3 to 6 weeks. Other insurance companies pay claims in 4 to 8 weeks if they have no questions about the claim. You can expect to receive a bill after your insurance has processed the claim.
R: If in fact, you have provided us with your insurance information, we will handle all of the insurance claim work for you. In the event that your insurance has not paid your claim within 60 days, we will contact them to verify that they have received the claim and have no questions regarding services. If your insurance company has the claim but has requested information from the insured and has not received it, we will contact you by mail asking you to please respond to the insurance request for information. If the insurance questionnaire is not answered, the bill becomes patient responsibility. Insurance benefits are for the patient and ultimately the bill is your responsibility.
R: If a patient believes that they are unable to cover the costs of their health care, has no insurance coverage, or a combination of both, they are encouraged to contact the Business Office at Cherokee Regional Medical Center to discuss possible alternatives to satisfying their debt. Financial Assistance applications are also available on our website.
R: Depending on your plan, your insurance provider may have many requirements for you to contact them before you receive services from a hospital. In some cases you may need to contact your insurance provider up to a week ahead of planned hospital services. If you do not follow your insurance plan’s pre-certification/pre-authorization requirements they may not pay your hospital bill, leaving you with the balance.
Whenever your doctor wants you to have hospital services, please consult with your insurance company to see if they require pre-certification/pre-authorization. If you would like assistance in determining pre-certification/pre-authorization requirements, please call our business office.
R: In the unfortunate event that a customer refuses to pay their bill or pursue other options offered to them, the account may be turned over to a collection agency.
R: Cherokee Regional Medical Center’s collection policy states that accounts are to be paid within 12 months of the first self-pay statement. If you are unable to meet these payment requirements, we can assist you in obtaining loan information from a local financial institution. However, if you are uncomfortable with that, we can work with you on a payment plan that will work for both of us. It is our intention to make it possible for you to pay your bill and not create other financial challenges.
R: Cherokee Regional Medical Center has a number of dedicated individuals committed to making sure your medical bills are handled quickly and professionally. The people you speak with upon admission are charged with gathering information that your insurance company requires before they will pay your medical bill. If you have insurance cards, please bring them with you each time you visit the hospital or clinics. In general, you need to provide the latest information regarding your address, phone number, and insurance information. We will take it from there.
R: We have found that most of our customers do not want to receive an itemized statement. Since the itemized statement is very expensive to produce and mail, and confusing to customers, Cherokee Regional Medical Center does not send this detailed statement. However, we would be happy to send you an itemized statement, at no cost to you, at your request.
We hope that these responses will answer most of the questions you have regarding your bill. We understand that this may not cover all questions, so if you need any additional information, please contact the CRMC Business Office at (712)225-1504.
That’s the Cherokee Regional Medical Center difference.