Billing Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I receiving a new bill from CHI Franciscan Health?
The new bill you received is our new consolidated bill which reflects all of your activity at locations using our new electronic health record. The new bill covers all of your care at our clinics, hospitals and other facilities except St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, which will convert to our new electronic health record in 2016.
Why am I getting both the old bills and the new bills from your clinics and hospitals?
We deployed a new electronic health record throughout our clinics and hospitals between mid-2013 and mid-2014.
- June 2013: Franciscan Medical Group clinics deployed the new system in waves through late 2013
- August 2013: Franciscan’s hospitals named after Saints went live on the new system. St. Elizabeth currently is on a separate electronic health record system but will convert to the CHI Franciscan Health standard in 2016
- July 2014: Harrison Medical Center and Harrison HealthPartners, Highline Medical Center and Regional Long Term Acute Care Hospital deployed the new system
If you are carrying a balance for services prior to these dates, you will continue to receive a separate bill for those services for as long as that balance is open. Open balances for services at clinics or hospitals noted above after those dates will be on a combined CHI Franciscan statement.
When will I only get one single bill?
Once the old balances are paid on visits prior to our implementation of the electronic health record system, no more bills for those services will be sent.
Please note if your care involves physicians who do not practice in our network of Franciscan Medical Group or Harrison HealthPartners clinics, or services provided by other organizations, then you will receive separate bills from them. Thus, you will receive one bill for all of the care provided by your CHI Franciscan Health providers, physicians and hospitals, including Harrison and Highline providers and hospitals (excluding St. Elizabeth in Enumclaw). But, you will be billed separately for care provided by contracted physicians who may practice in our emergency rooms, some anesthesiologists or some lab services or for an ambulance.
Why did you move to consolidated billing?
The new single bill is part of our new electronic health record system. A single bill allows you to:
- more easily understand and reconcile your bill
- pay online
- send payments to a single location (you can pay your new bill online or at any of our clinics or hospitals, regardless of where you received care)
My doctor’s office has already moved to the new electronic health record system but I’m still getting billed separately for past-due balances. Why?
Outstanding balances will not be transferred to the new system. Once our new electronic health record is in place throughout our facilities in 2015, you will only receive the old bills if you continue to carry a balance in our old billing system. Once the old balances are paid, those bills will not be sent.
I went to the doctor and had some lab tests done but my doctor’s office is on the new electronic health record system. Why am I billed separately for lab services?
You may receive bills from non-CHI Franciscan providers involved in your care such as anesthesiologists, emergency room physicians, PacLab (laboratory services) and radiologists.
I went to the emergency room and received a separate bill for those services, even though your schedule shows that the hospital has deployed the new system. Why is this not included on my CHI Franciscan billing statement?
You may receive bills from non-CHI Franciscan providers involved in your care such as anesthesiologists, emergency room physicians, Pac Lab (laboratory) services and radiologists.
Why does my bill include my child’s activity?
Child activity will appear on the bill of the parent who is noted as the financial guarantor for that child. The new bill you received is our new consolidated bill which reflects all of your CHI Franciscan activity. It is part of our new electronic health record. The new bill covers all of your care at our clinics, hospitals and other facilities who have migrated to our new system.
I have received two different bills from the same doctor in the same month. Do I have to pay them both? Why?
If you went to the doctor before the clinic moved to the new electronic health record, that activity will be billed separately. If the clinic deployed the new system in the middle of the month and you visited your doctor before it converted, you will receive two different bills and both will need to be paid.
How do I pay my new consolidated bill online?
You can pay your new bill online using our online health tool MyChart. To activate your account, simply visit your Franciscan Medical Group or Harrison HealthPartners primary care physician’s office to receive a login and password.
Can I pay my OLD hospital bills or clinic bills online?
You may still pay your bills from prior to August 2013 for services at St. Anthony, St. Clare, St. Francis and St. Joseph hospitals online at chifranciscan.org if you have a Working Identification Number (WID) on your old statement. Bills from clinics prior to the system conversion in 2013 may only be paid by mailing your payment. For Harrison HealthPartners, you can pay old bills over the phone with a credit card by calling the number on the statement.
Do I need to send in three different payments for the three different bills?
Sending in separate payments will help expedite posting those payments to your accounts and ensure the payments get posted accurately. However, if you send all of your statements with one payment to one location we will make every effort to ensure the payments get credited to the proper accounts.
I made payment arrangements for my bills so why am I getting a new bill from the physician or hospital asking for total amount due?
This depends on whether you visited us after you made payment arrangements with us for care already provided. If so, you will need to call our customer service line to add your newest bill to your existing payment arrangement agreement.
For each new visit after the date you made payment arrangements, you can add the amount you must pay to your payment agreement. However, you must authorize us to add that new balance to your payment arrangement since your minimum amount due each month may change as a result.
I received one bill for my doctor’s visit on June 30th and paid that and then received a new bill for my other doctor’s visit I had on May 15. Why am I receiving bills out of order?
This situation applies mainly to our patients for whom we are billing insurance for payment of services. When we do so, we typically wait to bill you until after we’ve heard back from your insurance company. Sometimes, insurance payments may take longer if more information is needed. While for other visits, insurance may pay quickly. Once we receive payment from your insurance company, we then can either bill your secondary payer or send a statement with the remaining balance to you.
Why am I getting a bill if I applied for financial assistance?
You will continue to receive bill until your application for financial aid is approved. To ensure prompt processing of your application, please ask our financial assistance team if they require any additional information to finish processing your application. This will reduce any delays.
Also, please also remember that you may receive approval for financial assistance for only a portion of your bill and you may still owe payment.
Why aren’t all the services I received listed on my bill?
We send out up to four statements per service received. Much like a commercial credit card statement, any unpaid balances will be carried over to each new statement (balance forward), but the next new statement may not list out all of your original purchases.
Our first statement for a particular service will have the itemized listing of services that make up your bill for that visit. Any second statement for that visit will only summarize unpaid charges from the first statement (balance forward). If you receive additional services while there’s still a balance on your account, you would receive another statement with an itemized listing of services for your most recent visit plus the summary (balance forward) of your past services.
See description below:
May 3 Services: MRI, EKG, Annual Exam with physician
June 30: First statement shows detail of all exams, tests and supplies from May 3 with what the patient owes
July 15: Second statement shows only summary of the May 3 services with the remaining unpaid balance
July 17 Services: Follow up exam with physician and laboratory services
August 12: Third statement includes:
- remaining unpaid balance with summary of May 3 services
- new balance from July 17th with detailed listing of all tests, exams and supplies
I mailed in my payment and received a bill for the same account I just paid.
The two reasons this could occur:
- Statements are sent on an automated schedule. If your payment was mailed just prior to the date statements are sent, we can’t prevent the additional statement from being mailed.
- With our new guarantor billing, all of your accounts that you are responsible for are linked. So, multiple accounts may appear on one bill. You must indicate on your check the account to which you wish the payment to be applied. If you do not note the account, we automatically apply the payment to the oldest account starting with physician balances and then hospital balances. If you write the account number on your check when you send it in, we can ensure it is applied to the proper account.
Why do I receive statements from multiple cities?
We use different vendors for printing our statements and letters depending on where payment should be sent. Currently, you may see return addresses on our bills from Tacoma, Dallas and Alabama. All of our statements and letters have the CHI Franciscan Health logo on them.
Why am I getting a bill from my surgeon that is not part of my hospital bill?
The only physician claims included in the CHI Franciscan patient statement are those physicians employed by Franciscan Medical Group or Harrison Health Partners. You will receive a separate bill from any physician who does not practice in one of our our medical groups.
Why do I talk to people all over the nation when I call about my bill?
CHI Franciscan Health’s bill services are provided for our national health care system that includes hospitals and clinics in 20 states. To better serve you, we have specialized teams to assist with your needs. This approach also helps us reduce our wait times when you call.
Our team is here to serve you. But, if we cannot, we know who can and will arrange for you to talk to the right person. Our goal is that you receive the same high quality of service regardless of where your call may be answered. If we are not meeting your needs when you call, please ask to speak to a supervisor.
I provided my insurance at the time of service; why am I receiving a bill?
This usually means that your insurance did not completely cover your bill. This may be because of the following:
- you have not yet met your deductible for the year
- your insurance only covers a percentage
- for example they will pay 80% and you have 20% left as your responsibility, this is called the coinsurance amount
- you have a copayment, which is a flat rate dollar amount for a service, regardless of what your insurance pays
- for example, many insurance companies have a co-payment amount, such as $50.00, for any emergency room visits
- your insurance company will send an explanation of benefits (EOB) to you that will help you understand what they did or did not cover
I am still confused about this process – who can help me?
We understand healthcare billing can be confusing and we are here to help. Our customer service representatives are available toll-free at 1-888-779-6380 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.