About Your Bill
As a patient of Providence, you have the right to expect excellent medical care. You also have the right to understand our billing process and how our financial counselors may be able to help you.
If you have questions or concerns about your bills, please call us. Our staff will be happy to talk with you.
Fees and Charges
Fees and charges are based on our “charge master” rates. Fees and charges for services at a private physician clinic may differ from those at a clinic owned or operated by a Providence hospital.
You may get more than one statement for the services you receive. To meet federal and state billing regulations, we must align the cost of many services to these categories:
This can result in multiple, separate billings for a single date of service. It can also lead to more than one explanation of benefits from your payer and more than one statement. Common examples include:
- Inpatient hospital care plus a doctor’s services
- Outpatient X–ray exams plus radiologist services
- Emergency department treatment plus emergency physician’s services
- A doctor’s office visit plus lab or X–ray services
Help Us Serve You Better
We welcome your help and your communication. Working together, we can keep the billing process as simple as possible for you. To help us do a better job, please:
- Tell us about your health insurance or coverage by government programs, such as Medicare, when you register for services
- Become familiar with your insurance benefits so you will understand how much of your expenses will be covered by insurance and how much you will be responsible for (If you have questions, about your insurance coverage, please call them directly)
- Have your co–pay ready at the time of service
- Let us know immediately if you expect to have trouble paying your bill
- Pay your bill on time
Call your other providers about their bills if you receive separate bills for your care (For example, surgeons, radiologists, anesthesiologists and other specialists may bill you independently for their services. If you have questions about their bills, please call them directly.)
Your Medical Center Bill
Each time you receive care at a Providence facility, or your doctor sends a lab or pathology specimen to us, a new account will be opened for you. Each account generally ties to a specific date of service.
Bills and Statements
In most cases, the first bill should arrive about ten days after initial care. It will include a detailed description of the services provided for that account.
Every thirty days thereafter a monthly statement should arrive that will include summaries for all accounts for the entire family (or guarantor). If you prefer individually monthly statements instead of family or guarantor statements, please call the business office and ask to be your own guarantor.
The monthly family statement identifies the amount due from your insurance company, and the amount due from you for each account. The statement also will include payments or new charges that occurred during the month.
At any time, you may request additional information about itemized charges by contacting the business office. Some tests, services or treatments require service from a physician who is not an employee of Providence. Such a physician will bill you separately for services rendered. In some cases, you may not actually receive direct care from the physician that provides a service. Examples of these physicians include pathologists, radiologists, cardiologist, anesthesiologist, and other specialists who submit separate bills. If you have questions about these bills, please call the number printed on their statement.
Billing Your Insurance Company
Providence will submit bills to your insurance company when complete information is supplied. Please remember that your policy is a contract between you and your insurance company, and you have the final responsibility for payment of your medical bill. If your insurance company does not pay within forty–five days of billing, please contact them to resolve the delay. Secondary insurance is billed after the primary (or first) insurance pays.
Your Rights and Protections Against Surprise Billing (Balance Billing)
When you get emergency care or get treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from surprise billing or balance billing. Learn more about your rights.
A copy of your rights is available in the following translations:
Washington Cost and Quality Information
Learn more about hospital pricing from the Washington State Hospital Association.
After your insurance company processes the bill (also known as a claim), the balance (amount owed by you) is due within thirty days. The balance can be paid in any of the following ways: automatic credit card, payment plan, cash, check, online bill pay or credit card. If you need a payment plan, please call the number on your billing statement to make arrangements.
If You Are Covered by Medicaid
We will need a copy of your Medicaid card. Medicaid also has payment limitations on a number of services and items.
What to Do if You Can't Pay Your Bill
If paying your bill creates a financial hardship, you can apply for financial assistance. Partial or full financial assistance may be available based on established guidelines. Consideration for assistance includes the patient's (or responsible party's) income level, existing debt, assets, number of people in the home, and other indicators of inability to pay.
For instances, full financial assistance for Providence medical services is usually available to household whose annual income is up to 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Families whose annual income is above 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may still be eligible for partial assistance with their Providence medical bills.
Our Commitment to Financial Assistance
As a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry, Providence embraces its responsibility to provide for the needs of the communities we serve — especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. Our Providence Charity Care Policy provides financial assistance to qualifying patients to help pay for medically necessary health care services received from Providence. This does not include limits of coverage from government programs, but it may include insurance co–payments and/or deductibles.
Request an appointment with a financial counselor. Our trained financial counselors are available to:
- Answer your questions about the Providence Charity Care Policy
- Review your eligibility for financial assistance
- Connect you with other payer sources, such as government programs
- Complete an application form for financial assistance for you
- Verify your financial need