Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my bill high? Why is health care expensive?
Health care is expensive, and your bill may be higher than you expected. The facts below may help explain why.
- Health care in the United States is the most advanced in the world. While you were in the hospital, medical professionals used the most sophisticated technology to diagnose and treat your illness or injury.
- Medications, bandages and other medical supplies listed on your bill may appear to be more expensive than they would be if you bought them at the store. However, the amount charged includes more than the drugs or supplies used. It also includes the cost of labor for the pharmacist who dispensed the medication, the nurse who administered the medication, and other hospital personnel who may have assisted in your treatment.
- Health care isn’t “one-size-fits-all.” It is tailored to meet your individual needs. Due to complications or special needs, most procedures (surgeries, tests, etc.) or hospital stays do not cost the same amount.
- When compared to other hospitals our size, Sentara RMH remains one of the lowest cost providers in Virginia.
Will Sentara RMH bill my insurance company? When will I receive a bill?
Sentara RMH Medical Center does file insurance claims as a courtesy to our patients. However, the responsibility for payment of a hospital bill is the patient’s.
So that we can file your claim, you must provide insurance information at each visit to the hospital. Policy coverage continually changes, and the hospital must have current information for accurate billing.
Upon payment by the insurance company, you will receive a statement. This will show the amount that is due from you after all insurance payments have been received. Prompt payment is expected. Please call us if you have any questions about your balance.
To receive an itemized bill, please call 540-433-4321 and leave a message. An itemized bill will be sent to you by the end of the next business day.
How much will I have to pay?
The amount you pay depends upon your insurance policy. It is a good idea to study your insurance policy before you go to the hospital for a scheduled procedure. Your insurance card will indicate if preadmission certification is necessary. Your employer may also be able to answer questions about your insurance coverage.
Many major insurance companies require patients to pay a deductible (out-of-pocket expense) that may range anywhere from $100-$500 or more. After the deductible is paid, the insurance company will usually pay a percentage of the cost of hospitalization. You will be responsible for the remainder, including any expenses not covered by your policy.
In some cases, the balance on your bill may be higher than you anticipated. This is not necessarily a result of increased medical costs. Employers periodically revise their policies and may even reduce the amount of coverage they offer. Employees may then have responsibility for a greater share of their healthcare costs. In addition, it’s important to remember that a single insurance company may write hundreds of different policies. Your policy may not be the same as your neighbor’s or co-worker’s.
Why did I get more than one bill for the same visit?
Sentara RMH bills for hospital-related charges only. Generally, physicians are not employed by Sentara RMH, so their fees are billed separately. Also, in accordance with insurance regulations, physician services must be included on separate bills. These bills may include fees from your personal physician, hospitalists, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists, emergency department physicians, or any other consulting physician your personal doctor may have asked to review your case.
What if I have problems paying my hospital bill?
Don’t ignore your bill. Sentara RMH understands that many individuals cannot pay their hospital bills all at once. Payment plans may be arranged but must be approved by the Sentara RMH Business Office. Please call us at 540-564-5900 or 800-858-0383 if you would like to speak with a staff member about arranging a payment plan.
How am I billed if I have recurring visits?
If your physician orders a series of treatments or diagnostic work to be performed on a regular basis, the registration staff will set up a recurring account for you. This requires you to register only once, at the time of your first visit. Any charges you incur will be filed with your insurance company once per month. You will receive statements showing you the balance that you owe on your account and the balance that has been billed to your insurance company.