Billing & Insurance Questions

General Billing Questions


Q. Why did I receive more than one bill for the same date of service?

A. If you receive services at a hospital (also referred to as a medical center) or at an outpatient clinic or other location that is clinically integrated into the hospital, you will receive a bill for "facility fees" for the services, in addition to a bill for any professional fees for the services. In some cases, you may also receive a separate bill for laboratory services. Facility fees are charged for hospital stays, some clinic visits, and services from hospital outpatient departments such as X-rays, lab tests and therapies. Clinics located miles away from a main hospital campus may still be considered part of the hospital. To learn why facility fees are billed separately from professional services, refer to our FAQ.

Sometimes patients will pay more for certain outpatient services and procedures at hospital departments or clinics. The amount will depend on their insurance. Patients should review their insurance benefits or contact their insurer to learn what their policy will pay and what out-of-pocket expenses they may need to pay.

UW Medicine outpatient clinic locations for which you may receive a facility fee from the hospital are listed below. There will be signage at the clinic and you will receive written notice if you will receive services that include a facility fee at these locations:

Clinics located in the following medical centers:

UW Physicians, which is separate from the medical centers, bills the professional fees for services provided by doctors practicing at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center locations.

Patients may also receive bills associated with their visits from other providers, including the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), Children’s University Medical Group (CUMG), air and ground ambulance companies such as Airlift Northwest and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologists (CRNAs) billed by Support Med.



Q. How do I update my insurance or other billing information?

A. Call us right away if your insurance information has changed since you last registered as a patient, or if you believe your claim may have been denied because of missing or incorrect billing or other personal information. We will update your account information and/or re-bill your health coverage with your new information. Have your account number ready when you call.

UW Medical Center patient accounts:
Pre-registration
206.598.4388
800.283.6184 (toll free)
Monday  Friday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Harborview Medical Center patient accounts:
Pre-registration
206.731.8845
877.744.9700 (toll free)
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday:  8 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

UW Neighborhood Clinic patient accounts:
Call the UW Medicine Contact Center
Monday – Friday: 6:30 a.m. – to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.​

Q. What do I do if I can’t pay my bill?

A. All patient responsibility balances are due and payable 30 days from the date you receive your statement. If you are unable to pay your bill contact the location you are seeking or have received care to determine your options.

Q. Why didn’t my insurance pay my hospital bill?

A. Charges which may not be paid by your insurance and may then become your responsibility include: 
  • Deductibles 
  • Co-insurance and/or co-pays 
  • Benefit limitations, i.e. items or services not covered under your insurance plan 
  • Medicare program exclusions (see your Medicare handbook for a complete listing). 
  • Check your explanation of benefits and/or contact your insurance company with your specific questions.
Insurance claims may also be denied because of missing or incorrect subscriber information on the claim. If you believe your claim was denied for this reason, please call us immediately. We will update your account and/or re-bill your insurance.

Have your explanation of benefits in hand when you call.


Q. What if I need more information to bill my medical savings account or my health-care reimbursement account?

A. Requirements for submitting claims to a medical savings account or health-care reimbursement account vary. The two most common items of information needed, but not provided, on the facility bill or statement are: the physician’s or provider’s name and a diagnosis.

For additional information required by your medical savings account, you can call Patient Financial Services​.


Q. What if I have a credit balance or refund?

A. Contact Patient Financial Services at 206.598.1950 or 877.780.1121 (toll-free) during the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday ​ Friday.


Q. What is a facility fee?

A. A facility fee is charged for services given in a hospital-based outpatient clinic or location. This is a standard model for large healthcare systems like UW Medicine. Billing rules are different for hospital-based clinics than for clinics that are not part of a hospital.


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Physician Billing Questions

 



How to Contact Us


Online
Use our online bill payment service to conveniently pay your bill online.

By Phone
206.543.8606 or 1.888.234.5467 Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

By Fax
206.221.6266

By Mail
Our address for payments is:
PO Box 34115
Seattle, WA 98124-1115

Our address for written correspondence is:
PO Box 50095
Seattle, WA 98058

Our physical address is:
701 5th Ave Ste. 700
Seattle, WA 98104 

Q. Can I mail my payment without my statement stub?

A. We strongly encourage you to include your statement stub with your payment. This ensures that your payment will be applied correctly to your account. As you can imagine, we receive many payments each day. We rely on the statement stub to provide the information we need to properly apply the payment received to the correct account.

However, if you have lost your statement stub and cannot include it, please include your account number or invoice number on the memo line of your check to help us properly apply your payment to your account.
 

Q. Why am I getting a bill for a doctor I never saw? The date is correct, but I was treated by a different doctor.

A. Since we are an academic medical center, we have different types of healthcare practitioners who provide services to patients but may not be noted on your bill. For example, you may have been seen by a resident or fellow who is supervised by an attending physician. Only the name of the attending physician is noted on your bill.
In another example, x-rays may have been evaluated by a physician that you never personally met; her/his name will appear for those services.

Q. Why am I getting two or more bills?

A. UWP Physicians provide services primarily in facilities owned and operated by its Harborview Medical Center (HMC), UW Medical Center (UWMC), UW Neighborhood Clinics and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA).

What this means for you is:

Clinic/Outpatient Visits – Because HMC, UWMC, and SCCA own the clinics at which UW Physicians practice, you may receive two bills when you receive care at these facilities (including the Eastside and Roosevelt Clinics). UWP will bill for the “professional” services provided by your physician. The hospitals or SCCA will bill for the “facility” services, which include the use of space, equipment, nursing staff, & supplies.

If you receive your care at a UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinic, you will receive either one or two bills. : from the doctor or other professional services provider and from UW Laboratory Medicine. You will not receive a bill for facility fees because, unlike the hospital-based and SCCA clinics, UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics own and operate their clinics.

UW Physicians are also increasingly seeing patients at clinics located on the Northwest Hospital or Valley Medical Center campuses. In general, the Northwest Hospital clinics are like the UW Neighborhood Clinics, as described above. There are, however, a few exceptions, as UWMC and SCCA operate clinics at the Northwest Hospital location. Valley Medical Center also operates some clinics that are hospital-based. For these clinics, you will receive a bill for facility fees.

Inpatient Services – When you require inpatient care, the hospitals will bill you for the all of the non-physician services you receive when you were in the hospital. This includes your room, meals, nursing services, medical supplies, medications, etc. UWP will bill you for the services you received from your physician(s).

Ambulatory Surgery – The hospital will bill you for the services related to the operating room, nursing care, pre- and post-operative room, medications, etc. UWP will bill you for the services provided by your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and any other physician involved in your care.

Q. I can’t afford to pay my bill. What can I do?

A. UWP is committed to working with you to resolve your account balances. If you feel you are unable to pay in full, please call Customer Service to speak with someone about options for resolving your account.

Q. Why are you just now billing my insurance when my services occurred some time ago?

A. UWP makes every effort to bill your services in a timely manner, however, in certain circumstances, such as changes in insurance coverage, coordination of benefits can delay billing.

Q. Why doesn’t my bill show my last visit or the co-payment I paid at the time of service?

A. Generally, this is a matter of timing; the statement was sent before we could get this information entered into our billing system. These payments should be noted on your next bill.
 

Q. Why was a charge changed/removed from my statement?

A. UWP or your insurance company may have identified an error which required correction. If you have specific questions, please contact Customer Service (see the contact information above).

Q. Why are you billing me? I have coverage that should pay for this.

A. If your coverage is not listed in the message box on your statement please call Customer Service (see contact information above) so we can update your information.

Or,
If the coverage is listed on your statement and you have not received an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company, please call Customer Service (see contact information above) to verify that UWP has the correct information.

Or,
If the coverage is listed on your statement and you have received an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company, please contact them to determine why they did not pay in full.

Q. Can you e-mail me with answers to my questions that may contain my personal information?

A. Your privacy is our utmost concern. We have strict policies and procedures to ensure that we maintain your privacy. Because we do not, at this time, have the ability to communicate with you via a secure e-mail process, we are not able to answer billing questions via e-mail.

Q. I called my insurance company and they told me that you may have billed the claim(s) incorrectly and said that you may need to re-bill.

A. Please contact Customer Service. They will review the charges and medical records for the service/s in question and initiate the rebilling process, if necessary.


 

Collection Agency Questions

Q. I got a notice indicating that you sent my account to a collection agency. Why didn’t you bill my insurance?

A. It is very likely we do not have your correct insurance information. Our practice is to always bill insurance before pursuing payment from patients. Please contact Customer Service to provide them with your insurance information so that we may bill them.

Q. I just got a notice from a collection agency, and I can’t afford to pay my bill – isn’t there something you can do to help me?

A. As noted above, UWP is committed to working with you to resolve your account balances. If you feel you are unable to pay in full, please call Customer Service to speak with someone about options for resolving your account.

Q. Why did you send me to collections when I have been making monthly payments on my account?

A. As noted on your statements, your balance is due, in full, at the time of billing. Our billing system requires a formal payment plan to be entered to prevent a patient’s account from being referred to collections. Please contact customer service to discuss your options.




Confidential Financial Questions

Q. Why are you sending me a bill for these charges? The facility has given me a charity discount for my care.

A. UW Physicians will honor charity granted by the facility. Please contact our billing office as we may not have received notice of the charity allowance. We will update our system accordingly.​​​​

 


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Facility Bill FAQ

  1. ​​​​​​What is a facility bill?
  2. How does this affect patient billing?
  3. Does this mean I am paying more for services?
  4. What if I have more than one insurance plan?
  5. Who can I talk to if I would like a procedure cost estimate?
  6. Who can patients call wit​​h their questions and concerns?

Q. What is a facility fee?

A. A facility fee is charged for services given in a hospital-based outpatient clinic or location. This is a standard model for large healthcare systems like UW Medicine. Billing rules are different for hospital-based clinics than for clinics that are not part of a hospital.

Q. How does this affect patient billing?

A. Under this model, a patient bill is split. One bill is for the facility, which will come from the hospital. The other bill will come from the physicians or other healthcare professionals who treat you.

Q. Does this mean I am paying more for services?

A. Sometimes patients will pay more for certain outpatient services and procedures at hospital-based outpatient locations. The amount will depend on their insurance. Patients should review their insurance benefits or contact their insurer to learn what their policy will pay and what out-of-pocket expenses they may need to pay.

You may have to pay a co-payment at the time of your visit. The co-pay amount will depend on the services received during your visit and your insurance plan.

Q. What if I have more than one insurance plan?

A. Give the clinic your primary and secondary insurance information. If we have complete information, we can bill both insurances right away. This will make it easy for you to manage your bills.

Q. Who can I talk to if I would like a procedure cost estimate?

A. A list of the most common procedures is posted on this website. If you do not find what you are looking for, call UW Medicine Financial Services at 206.598.1950 for an estimate.

Q. Who can patients call with their questions or concerns?

A. For more information on your facility bill, call UW Medicine Financial Services Office at 206.598.1950.

If you have questions about your physician or other healthcare provider, call UWP at 206.543.8606 (toll free 1.888.234.5467); or CUMG at 206.987.8455 (toll free 1.888.675.2864). ​

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