Hospital Billing

Written by Kimberly Clark
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The American Hospital Association (AHA) requires that all hospitals in America provide quality emergency healthcare to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The number of Americans currently living without healthcare insurance is estimated to be around 43 million. As a result, many of these people are unable pay for the healthcare services they receive.

Before a hospital can submit a bill for services rendered at their facility, they must first make sure that they adhere to all the stipulations outlined by the AHA. The guidelines require hospitals to keep their billing processes straightforward and easily to understand. The AHA also strongly encourages hospitals to offer patients financial counseling regarding their bill and payment options.

After providing proof of coverage, the hospital billing department will prepare and submit all the insurance claims forms. The hospital is responsible for verifying the eligibility of all their Medicare patients. And for those patients that have no insurance coverage, the hospital is urged to determine whether or not they qualify for any public or charitable assistance. Using a comprehensive billing software package can allow hospitals and healthcare providers to focus on patient care, rather than issues of billing. In order to truly save time, though, software suites should ideally be a single source for all needs, including billing, patient care, eligibility confirmations, and document management.

What a Hospital Bill Includes

Hospital bills are typically sent out seven to 10 business days after the patient is discharged. Since federal regulations require that hospital fees be reported separately from provider services, the bill should only list charges for services directly related to the hospital stay. The doctor's fees and other services like x-rays, laboratory tests, blood work, and anesthesia must be billed separately.

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