May 26, 2011
Answering Tough Questions on Billing
As employees of KSB Hospital, sometimes we’re asked by members of the public about aspects of the organization that go beyond our department. I invited Deb Didier to share some answers on our billing process that will help you next time a friend inquires.
Deb Didier, Chief Financial Officer
As employees of KSB Hospital, we’re often seen as the ‘face of KSB’ by our circle of friends. I’m sure we’ve all been asked about aspects of the hospital that are outside our job areas. Whether it’s a question about the construction project, doctor’s office scheduling, a lab test, or billing, it can be a challenge to give an accurate answer about issues we’re not directly involved in. This column should help you give a little insight into the billing procedure of KSB Hospital next time you’re asked.
Following an appointment, procedure or hospitalization we send the patient a financial statement with the amount they owe. In most cases, the patient and their insurance company satisfy their financial obligation and we all move on. There are times, though, when the process does not go quite as smoothly and the bill goes unpaid. We send patients a second copy of their statement, and then a third copy as a reminder. We then send a pre-collection notice, informing them that their delinquent account is scheduled to be turned over to a collection agency.
Throughout the process we check to see if patients qualify for Medicare or Medicaid programs and we help them apply for a loan, set up a payment plan, or apply for charity care.
We all know that receiving healthcare services can be a stressful time physically, emotionally, and financially. Our Patient Financial Services Department pays close attention to the line between understanding the stress and maintaining a responsible business. All employees of KSB Hospital should take pride in knowing that we’re providing high-quality service at a great value.
Why did I get turned over to a collection agency?
For specific information, you can contact our Patient Financial Services department. Generally, we send three copies of the statement and a pre-collection notice before any account is ever sent to a collection agency.
What can I do to avoid being turned over to a collection agency?
You can contact the Patient Financial Services department and set up a payment plan or get help taking out a healthcare loan or identifying government or charity programs you might qualify for.