Community News October 18, 2016

Billing - Patient Education

EXPLAINING BILLING FOR SERVICES RECEIVED

To Adena patients/family members,

Thank you for choosing Adena Health System for your health care needs. We know that our complex billing structure is difficult for many of our patients to navigate. We are truly sorry for any confusion you or your family have encountered. Please know that we are listening, and that we are continually working to improve this process.

To help you better understand how Adena creates bills for your health care services, we offer the following explanations to a number of questions we are often asked.

1.    Why do I receive so many bills from Adena for the same visit?

Scenario 1:  Adena Health System provides you with a bill for the services you receive in our facilities, provided by Adena-employed physicians and staff. However, some of those services are performed by providers working in contract with Adena (they perform their services here, but are on the payroll of another company). This is a standard practice in today’s health care industry, and it means you will receive a separate bill for service from that contracted providers’ employer.

Please note Adena’s current contracted providers include:

  • Emergency Room Physicians (Schumacher Group 1-888-703-3301)
  • Anesthesiologists (Adena Anesthesiology  740-524-9604)
  • Hospitalists (Apogee 1-800-844-0266 )
  • Radiologists/X-ray reading (Columbus Radiology 1-888-592-6550)
  • Pathology (Corpath  614-442-2403)

Scenario 2:  Adena uses separate billing systems for services conducted in our provider clinics (primary care, specialties, etc.), and those for hospital services (inpatient care, testing, etc.). Bills for these services are also sent separately. For example, if a patient has a heart catheterization, he/she should expect a bill from Adena Cardiology for the physician’s time and services, as well as a bill from the Adena hospital where the procedure was performed with Adena staff and technology. This bill is to cover materials, staff time, and equipment needed to perform the service.

2.    When can I expect to receive a bill for service?

Adena’s policy is to always bill a patient’s insurance carrier first. We make every effort to receive payment from the insurance company before billing any remaining balance to the patient. At times when the insurance company requests additional information, months may pass due to back-and-forth correspondence. Each correspondence to the insurance company typically comes with a 45 to 60-day “response period.” On some claims, it is not uncommon to have to do this several times with insurance companies.

 3.    Why don’t my bills for Adena services come from a local address?

Adena has more than one million patient visits each year. At this time, we are not able to print and mail this many bills from our local offices. Instead, bills are managed, printed and mailed from an outside vendor. This is a common practice for a health system of our size. Therefore, when calling about a bill, you are most likely to reach that vendor first.

4.    Why doesn’t Adena send an itemized bill to explain each of my charges?

For the majority of patients, an itemized bill would mean many, many pages of billed items and charges. We have found that most patients do not want or need that level of detail. Therefore, Adena does not regularly send fully-itemized statements. However, we will happily send a detailed statement if it is requested. To make a request for an itemized bill, you may contact Adena’s Customer Service Dept. at (740) 779-4400.

5.    There’s no way I can pay my entire bill at once.

Many patients find they qualify for some form of payment assistance to help with their health care costs. Adena also offers payment plans for help in paying bills of more than $300. A payment plan can be set up with our billing vendors, or with Adena’s local Customer Service Dept. by calling (740) 779-4400.

6.    I just received a bill and I’m already getting collection calls. Why is this happening?

Our outside billing vendor routinely calls a patient approximately 15 days after a bill is sent. This call is to verify the bill was received, and to make sure the address on file is correct. At this time, the patient may also pay the bill, with the help of the representative, or make arrangements for future payment. Unless payment has been received, or payment arrangements have been made, the billing vendor may call every 10 days after this initial conversation.

7.    Who can I call to talk to, locally, about my bill?

We are always working to simplify our billing statements, and your feedback is always welcome. If you have any questions about your bill, or if you would like to make a payment arrangement, call Adena’s local Customer Service Department at (740) 779-4400. You may also visit Adena’s billing office, which is located just west of the main hospital in Chillicothe at 110 Vaughn Lane.

We hope this information has helped to give you a better understanding of Adena’s overall billing process. Each of our caregivers thanks you for having confidence in the services provided at Adena, and we look forward to continuing to serve your health care needs well into the future.