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Questions About Your Bill

I can’t afford my bill. Is there any help available?

Yes. The Crawford County Memorial Hospital has financial assistance available for anyone that qualifies. Please call (712) 265-2500 and ask for an application. You may also stop by the Business Office at the hospital and request one from the staff.

 

I am receiving phone calls from someone who says they represent the Crawford County Memorial Hospital Business Office. I know all the staff in the office at the hospital. Is this a scam? Have I been turned over to collections?

No to both of these questions. The hospital uses the service of a company to call our patients who have received statements from us. The purpose of the call is to assure that any questions regarding the bill are addressed and to help the patient establish a payment plan, if needed.

 

May I pay my bill off over a period of time?

Yes. There are certain policies that apply to monthly payments. Please call (712) 265-2510 for help in establishing a payment plan.

 

Why am I getting bills from physicians?

In some situations, particularly for specialists holding clinics in our outpatient area, you may receive a bill from the hospital and the physician. When this happens, it is because national billing rules require that the physician not include the cost of overhead in the fee that he charges you, while they require that the hospital bill for this overhead.

 

Why is my ER bill so high?

Emergency Room visits are meant to provide urgent services with little or no notice. As such, the cost of staffing the Emergency Room is much higher than staffing a physician office. When a patient presents in the ER, hospital staff have to perform a thorough assessment of the patient, even if you, the patient, feel that you know what the problem is. For example, a patient presents to the hospital with a bad cough and tells the ER staff that they know they have bronchitis and just need something for the cough. The hospital’s legal, ethical and moral obligation is to 1) verify that the patient has bronchitis and 2) verify that there are no other conditions contributing to the cough. Therefore, it is possible that the ER staff will order lab tests, radiology tests and maybe even an EKG, depending on the staff’s evaluation of the patient. Each of these add to the cost of the ER. In addition, the patient’s bill includes the hospital charges (for the ER room and all ancillary tests) and a charge for the physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who provides the actual treatment. Another factor that will affect the amount ultimately billed to the patient is the patient’s own insurance coverage. Today’s insurance policies often pay a smaller percentage of an ER visit if the company feels that the patient could have waited and obtained care from a physician office. In the example of the patient with bronchitis, it is possible that the insurance company would pay a lower percent and increase the patient’s responsibility.