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Billing, Insurance and Finances
Billing Frequently Asked Questions
The new bill you received is our new single patient statement which reflects all of your Virginia Mason Franciscan Health 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 except for St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw.
We deployed our new electronic health record throughout our clinics and hospitals over time.
- June 2013: Franciscan Medical Group clinics deployed the new system in waves
- August 2013: Franciscan hospitals (with the exception of St. Elizabeth in Enumclaw) went live on the new system
- July 2014: Harrison Medical Center and Harrison Health Partners, Highline Medical Center and Regional Long Term Acute Care Hospital deployed the new system
- May 2016: St. Elizabeth Hospital
- June 2017: Harrison Imaging Clinics
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 any services at any of the above named clinics or hospitals after those dates will be on a combined Virginia Mason Franciscan Health statement.
Once the old balances are paid on visits prior to our implementation of the new system, no further bills for those services will be sent. You will still receive separate bills for services rendered by providers and hospitals not listed above.
Once the old balances are paid on visits prior to our implementation of the new system, those bills will not be sent. You will still receive separate bills for providers and hospitals not listed above. You will receive one bill for all of the care provided by your Virginia Mason Franciscan Health provider, physicians and hospitals, including St. Michael Medical Center and St. Anne Hospital providers and hospitals. You will still be billed separately from organizations that we contract with such as emergency services department providers, lab services and some anesthesiologists.
Although those services are part of your care at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, the providers are contracted by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, and bill separately from the hospital or the clinics.
The new single bill is part of our new electronic health system. A single bill will allow you to:
- More easily reconcile your bill
- Pay online
- Send in your payment to a single location
There are two ways to pay your bill online. Regardless if you received care within one of our clinics, hospitals or other locations, you can pay by logging into your MyChart account. There are many benefits to having a MyChart account, but if you wish to skip this step, you can also use our simple online bill payment tool.
The “new” is in reference to the account that is newest on the bill, not the type of visit you received or the provider you saw. This just means, this is the first time that that specific visit has been added to your bill.
For several years, patients have been able to pay their hospital bills online. We have not had online bill pay available for clinic bills. This will not change with the introduction of the new billing system. You will still be able to pay your old hospital bills (exc. St. Anne Hospital, St. Michael Medical Center, Regional Hospital) online at chifranciscan.org if you have a Working Identification Number (WID) on your old statement, but you will need to pay your old clinic bills by sending in payment. For Harrison HealthPartners, you can pay old bills over the phone with a credit card by calling the number on the statement.
Sending in separate payments will help expedite posting those payments to your accounts and ensure that the payments get posted accurately. However, if you send all of your payment stubs with one payment to one location we will make every effort to ensure that the payments get credited to the proper accounts. If you want a payment to be posted to a specific visit, you must write the visit number on the check or somewhere on the stub if paying by credit card so that someone can manually post that payment to your specific visit.
Depending on when you made the payment arrangements on your past bills and when you subsequently received services that were not part of those past invoices, you will need to call the customer service line and add your newest bill to your payment arrangement agreement. For each new visit where you may owe a liability, once you have the new bill, you can add that to your payment agreement. As required, we must have your authorization to add that new balance to your previously set up payment arrangement because the new balance may also change the minimum amount due each month.
Especially for our patients for whom we are billing insurance for payment of services, we are dependent on the timing of the insurance payment before we can bill you for your portion. In some cases, insurance payers will want additional information on one account and yet pay quickly on another. Once the insurance pays, we are able then to either bill any applicable remaining balance to any known, applicable secondary payer or move the balance to patient responsibility. When the balance is moved to patient responsibility, a statement is produced and mailed to you.
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 that new statement may not list out all 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. If you receive a second statement for that same visit, it will be listed as a “previous visit” in your visit summary on the first page and it will only be a summary of the unpaid previous charges listed from the first statement (balance forward). If after that, you receive additional services and still have not paid off your balance, you may receive another statement that has the itemized listing of services for any visit we have not previously billed for. See example below (this is only an example and statements may not follow the timing listed):
May 3 Services: MRI, EKG, Annual Exam with physician
June 30: 1st statement shows detail of all exams, tests and supplies from May 3 with the patient responsibility due.
July 15: 2nd statement shows only summary of the May 3 services with the remaining unpaid balance
July 17 Services: Follow Up Exam with physician, Laboratory Services
August 12: 3rd Statement:
- Includes remaining unpaid balance with summary of May 3 services
- Includes new balance from July 17th with detailed listing of all tests, exams and supplies.
The two reasons this could occur:
- Statements are sent out based on automated scheduled times in the system. If your payment was mailed just prior to that scheduled date, the system would not have it received it in time to stop the additional statement from being mailed.
- With our new guarantor billing, all of your accounts that you are responsible for paying are linked. So you may have multiple accounts on one bill. If you did not indicate the account you want the payment applied on the check in the memo field, the system will automatically apply that amount to the visit that was the oldest billed to you. If you write the account number you want the payment applied to when you mail it in, the system will automatically assign that payment for someone to review and we will manually post it to the designated account.
We use multiple print vendors for our statements and letters dependent on the type of statement and where the payment needs to be sent. Here are the current locations for return addresses you may see:
All of these statements and letters will have the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health logo.
The only provider claims included in the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health patient statement are those providers employed by Franciscan Medical Group or Harrison Health Partners.
To better serve you, we have specialized teams who are specialized in handling your questions or needs. This normally ensures that we are reducing wait times as much as possible. They are all here to serve you and meet your needs, but if they cannot, they know how to get you to the right place. You should never feel a difference in the level of service regardless of who you are speaking with and it should feel seamless to you, but if it does not, please ask to speak to a supervisor.
The most common reason is that your insurance benefits do not cover 100 percent of what the insurance allows for your service. There are multiple reasons including, but not limited to:
- You have not yet met your deductible for the year
- Your insurance only covers a percentage. For example they will pay 80 percent and you have 20 percent left as your responsibility. We call this the coinsurance amount.
- You have a copayment, which is a flat rate dollar amount for that service, regardless of what your insurance pays. For example, many insurance companies have a co-payment amount, such as $50 for any emergency department 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.
We understand that healthcare billing can be confusing and we are here to help. If your question was not answered by any of the above, please reach out to us. We are committed to continuous improvement in our service. You can call 1-888-779-6380 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.