November 3, 2015

FHA Statement on Hospital Billing

Statement from on Hospital Billing from Bruce Rueben, Florida Hospital Association President

"Florida hospitals are committed to helping patients understand the cost of their care. This commitment extends to helping the patients who have shared their experiences with the Commission. We understand that hospital billing can be confusing. Making sure patients get the care they need is our highest priority. We know caring for our patients goes beyond direct care.

That's why hospitals make advocates and financial counselors available to our patients. We stand ready assist any patient who has a question about their bill, whether it's before, during or after their hospital experience. These types of interactions take place in hospitals every day across the state. While each hospital's billing procedure is uniquely tailored, the following is a snapshot of the many resources available at hospitals in Florida:

Cost Estimation
Many hospitals have coordinators available to start working with patients before they receive services. They conduct interviews, get patients' financial history, and offer the patient financial assistance and a budget plan that fits within the patient's own budget.

Resources available before patients receive treatment
FHA hospitals have a wide range of tools available to help patients understand the cost of treatment: treatment / service cost estimator tools, price quote hotlines, websites and web pages dedicated to transparency and pricing information, financial aid programs, financial aid counselors, and more.

Resources available after patients receive treatment
Patients in Florida have access to financial counselors, expert staff in hospital billing centers, patient advocates, charity care programs for families up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level and deeply discounted care for families and as high as 400 percent of the federal poverty level, pre-paid plans, negotiable payment plans, financial aid and assistance programs both inside and outside the hospital, nurse auditors who help patients investigate their hospital bills, and more.

Hospital Billing Department Resources
Every hospital maintains an expert billing department staff that can assist in answering questions. Benefit coordinators review bills with patients. Several different types of staff are available, all working to help the patient understand the cost of treatment, verify that treatments were received, and working to resolve any discrepancies."
 
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About the Florida Hospital Association
The Florida Hospital Association is comprised of over 200 hospitals and health systems from across the state. Through representation and advocacy, education, and informational services, we support the mission of our members to provide the highest quality of care to the patients we serve. For more information, visit www.fha.org