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Insurance and Billing: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I have a question about my bill, who can I contact?
A: Our Customer Service department is available Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm EST.

Phone: 301-572-3542 or toll free at 800-787-0021
Email: bearbill@childrensnational.org

Q: Why do I receive two bills for each date of service?
A:
Normally, your child will receive both professional (physician) and hospital (laboratory, X-ray, medication, etc) services. Insurance companies require that these services be billed on different forms. Our computer systems currently keep these charges separated, and as a result you will receive two bills for each date of service. The physician bill/statement is purple (cumulative for all services) and the hospital bill is green or blue (separate account for each service). Please review our billing process for more information.

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Q: Why was the insurance billed to the wrong insurance?
A:
Each time your child is registered at Children’s, we ask that you review your demographic and insurance information for accuracy. Changes should be noted on the face sheet. Our staff will update this information on your account and bill the charges to the updated plan. If the information on the bill you receive is incorrect, please contact customer service, Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm EST at 301-572-3542 or toll free at 800-787-0021.

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Q: Why are my out-of-pocket expenses based on my outpatient benefits?
A:
Our physicians are employed by the hospital, therefore, when we submit claims for their services they are designated as “Outpatient Hospital” (even for our Regional Outpatient Centers) rather than “Physician Office.” As a result, your plan may apply the charges to your outpatient deductible or co-insurance rather than the office visit co pay.

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Q: Why do I receive a statement before the insurance has paid its portion?
A:
As Children’s claims are submitted, you will receive a statement to let you know the charges have been submitted to your insurance company. Once your insurance company has paid the bill, you will receive a bill indicating the remaining balance that is due from you. Please let customer service know if there are any errors in the information on the statement.
 
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Q: What date of service (DOS) does this bill cover?
A:
The first statement you receive for both hospital and physician services indicates the DOS. The physician statements will not repeat the date of service as these statements are cumulative – they carry the balance forward for all services previously billed and only new services will reference the DOS. The hospital service will continue to reference the date of service associated with each account.

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Q: What if I cannot pay my bill in full at the time of service?
A:
Our financial counselors will work with you to set up a payment plan to resolve your outstanding balance. You may pay your bill with a check, money order, cash, or credit card. We also accept payments on-line. Payment plans for balances after insurance can be made through our Customer Service department Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm EST at 301-572-3542 or toll free at 800-787-0021.

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Q: Why was my account placed with a collection agency before the hospital sent me a bill?
A:
The hospital uses outside agencies to assist with our billing and follow up after statements are sent to you. If we do not receive payments, these agencies help us collect the outstanding balance. The most common reason you may not have received a bill prior to placement with collection agency is that we do not have a valid address for you. You can update your address by calling our Customer Service Department please contact customer service Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm EST at 301-572-3542 or toll free at 800-787-0021.

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