Common Billing Questions
About Your Bill
Whom can I contact with questions about my bill?
For questions about potential charges, estimates and financial assistance options, and questions during your stay, contact your hospital’s financial services department to speak with a financial counselor:
- Mission Hospital: 949-347-6046
- St. Joseph Hospital: 714-771-8185
- St. Jude Medical Center: 714-992-3000, ext. 3825 or 5110
- St. Mary Medical Center: 800-378-4189
For questions about your bill, payment arrangements and online bill pay, contact the St. Joseph Health patient billing department:
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
What do I need to pay when I arrive?
It is the policy of St Joseph Health to collect all co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance amounts, private room charges or any other non-covered amounts, at time of service. Please be prepared to pay these amounts when you arrive. If, after your insurance pays your bill, there is a refund due to you, it will be processed within 10 days of the insurance payment.
Under certain circumstance, you will be required to pay a deposit based on an estimate of your charges. The hospital accepts, cash, checks, or credit cards as forms of payment.
Will I receive an itemized bill?
Itemized bills are not routinely sent; however, you may request one at any time by calling your hospital’s patient financial services department.
Can I get an estimate of my bill?
After verification of coverage, our staff will make every effort to provide you with an estimate of what your out-of-pocket costs will be after your health plan pays all covered benefits for your care.
How soon after receiving services will I receive my bill?
You can expect a bill once we have received payment or denial of payment from your health plan. If you are paying your bill without filing with your health plan, you should receive a bill within 30 days.
Who else might I receive a bill from?
You will be billed separately by each physician involved in your care. These physicians usually include your surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist (if X-rays are performed), pathologist (if pathology specimens are examined), Intensivist or hospitalist, and any physician who may interpret an exam ordered by your doctor. You may also receive bills from some of the physician groups listed below:
Allied Anesthesia Medical Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 1628
Orange, CA 92856
EMSOC: Emergency Medicine Specialists of Orange County
P.O. Box 840615
Los Angeles, CA 90084-0615
Moran, Rowen and Dorsey, c/o Medical Specialties Managers, Inc.
P.O. Box 14005
Orange, CA 92868
Orange County Pathology Medical Group
P.O. Box 6016
Florence, SC 29502-6016
What is reflected on my bill?
Your bill reflects all of the services you received, aside from physician’s fees. Charges fall into two categories:
- Basic daily rate, including nursing care, your room, meals, housekeeping, telephone and television
- Special services, including items your physician orders for you, such as X-rays or laboratory tests
What if I cannot afford to pay?
St. Joseph Health is proud of our Mission to provide quality care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. If you feel that you are unable to pay for your medical care, you may be eligible for our financial assistance program. This program provides free or discounted services to eligible patients. Also, our financial counselors can assist you in applying for many government programs.
I just got a letter from a collection agency. Why?
As part of our normal billing process, we make several attempts to contact and inform you of the portion of your bill for which you are personally responsible. We determine this amount after we have received payment or denial of payment from your insurance company. You may receive notice from a collection agency if, after repeated attempts to contact you, we have not heard from you or if we receive returned mail.
How do I dispute an error in my bill?
Please notify us in writing if you think your bill is inaccurate. Written disputes should be mailed directly to your hospital at the address listed on the front of your bill. Please include:
- Your name and account number
- The charge you feel may be inaccurate
- An explanation of why you believe the bill is in error
After we received your written concerns, we will:
- Acknowledge receipt of your letter within 30 days
- Suspend all formal collection attempts until we have responded to your concern
- Provide you with a final response or explain the delay within 60 days of receipt
- Make appropriate correction when an error is verified
If you wish to discuss your concerns with an account representative, call the patient billing office at 800-378-4189, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or any of the phone numbers listed on the front of your bill.
Your Insurance and Your Bill
Will you bill my insurance company?
Yes. Please remember to bring your current insurance information at the time of registration.
Will you bill my secondary policy too?
Yes. Upon receiving payment or denial from your primary insurance company, we will gladly bill your secondary insurance for any balance.
Do you accept my insurance company's payment as payment in full?
We bill our patients for any deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance and non-covered amounts not collected at the time of service. The amount billed and collected is based on what is indicated as patient liability on the explanation of benefits provided by your insurance company.
Will my insurance cover these services?
Coverage varies. Please call your health plan, plan administrator, or the benefits department of your employer with any questions regarding coverage or prior authorization requirements for treatment.
Should I contact my insurance company before my hospital visit?
That depends on the services you are going to receive and your particular insurance policy and benefits. In general, it is a good idea to review your insurance policy and benefits before receiving medical services. For instance, if you are coming in for laboratory tests or a chest X- ray, you may not need to notify your insurance company. However, for many other services such as an inpatient admission, ambulatory surgery or any invasive diagnostic test or procedure, your insurance company may require that you notify them in advance. Lack of such notification could result in reduced benefits.
What if I do not have insurance?
We are committed to providing high quality, compassionate healthcare to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Medically necessary care should not be delayed because you do not have health insurance or you’re unable to pay your hospital bill. If you do not have health insurance and are concerned that you may be unable to pay your hospital bill, it is important to let us know. You may qualify for the patient financial assistance program. This program is limited to hospital charges and does not include physician, anesthesiologist or professional charges that are not billed by the hospital.
Why do I have to give my insurance information every time I visit?
Individuals and/or employers frequently change health plans, so we ask for your insurance information every time you visit to ensure that our records are accurate and up-to-date. This also helps us protect you from potential identify theft so that we validate the person seeking services is the patient of record.
I have Medicare insurance. What should I expect when I visit the hospital?
If you are a Medicare patient, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your status including other insurance you may have and your retirement status. These questions are required by law and must be asked each time you visit us. If you are covered by Medicare we will submit your claims to Medicare on your behalf. We are required by Medicare to provide only those services approved by Medicare and deemed medically necessary. In the event that Medicare does not cover the service, we may ask you to sign a notice that makes you financially responsible for the services provided. Additionally, we will bill you and/or your supplemental insurance carrier for services not covered by Medicare such as self-administered medications and routine health exams. However, if neither plan covers these services you will be responsible for payment for these services.