Patient Financial Services
Summary of Hospital Financial Assistance Programs
St. Luke's Hospital (SLH) recognizes that certain individuals are unable to pay entirely, or in part, for services provided by the institution. The purpose of our Financial Assistance Programs is to have a unified system to assist those qualified individuals who are unable to pay for their healthcare services. SLH fully complies with any required Federal or State regulations related to financial assistance. (El formulario de ayuda financiera del paciente es disponsible en Español. Para descargarlo, haz clic aquí.)
There are 4 (four) programs available at SLH:
1) Uninsured Discount
2) Financial Assistance (formerly known as Charity Care)
3) Hardship Settlement Assistance
4) Payment Arrangements
Uninsured patients will receive a 50% discount off gross charges on all services. This is applied automatically at the time of billing and no action is needed by the patient to receive this discount. This program is available to all uninsured patients.
St Luke's Hospital, offers financial assistance based on the current Federal Poverty Guidelines to uninsured patients and guarantors with an outstanding balance owed for medically necessary services. Patients or guarantors may be determined to be Presumptively Eligible for financial assistance based on eligibility for other specific state or federal programs. Additional information regarding available financial assistance is also available at the following links: Financial Assistance Policy and Financial Assistance Application. Please note that additional information is needed to complete the application process. Click here to view the Financial Assistance Verification sheet. Please supply the information that pertains to you along with your completed application in order to avoid delays.
In addition, patients may obtain a copy of these documents at no cost by sending a request to St Luke's Hospital Financial Counseling Department, 101 Hospital Drive, Columbus, NC, 28722 or in person at the same address. Our Financial Counselors can be reached at (828) 894-0912 to assist you with any additional questions, or email our Patient Financial Counselor at email@example.com. Patients approved for financial assistance under the St. Luke's Hospital Financial Assistance Policy will be billed no more than the amount generally billed (AGB) to Medicare and our Private Health Insurers. Applications for Financial Assistance are printed in English with Spanish translation.
Patients that have insurance but are left with large copays and deductibles totaling $5,000 or more after third party payments may contact the Financial Counselor to request a Hardship Settlement Application. Guidelines for assistance are based on established debt to income ratios. If any balances remain after the Hardship Settlement, the patient is expected to make payment arrangements. Click here for the Hardship Settlement Policy, and click here to download the Hardship Settlement Application. Please note that additional information is needed to complete the application process. Click here to view the Hardship Verification Sheet. Please supply the information that pertains to you along with your completed application in order to avoid delays.
Those patients that are unable to pay their bills in full and that do not qualify for Financial Assistance or a Hardship Settlement may request a payment arrangement with SLH. Payment arrangements must follow SLH established payment guidelines or risk collections activity.
Click here for the Billing and Collections Policy. You may contact our business office at 855-283-9093 for additional information.
With deductibles and out-of-pocket medical expenses on the rise, St. Luke's Hospital has partnered with AccessOne to offer extended and affordable payment options to all patients. The program gives patients either a low interest or interest-free option based on the size of the account balance. Patients who choose to participate in one of the payment options are given a MedCard. According to AccessOne, the card provides flexibility in making "affordable payments over the life of [the patient's] account" in order to help families eliminate the financial burden of medical expenses. Everyone qualifies for the MedCard program, and families that have multiple patients only receive one bill. To learn more or to sign up, click here.
Financial Assistance Cost
"Community benefit" is an industry term that refers to the total cost of providing financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured patients. This includes subsidies to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements and financing other services that address vital needs but do not pay for themselves. For its year ended September 30, 2017, St. Luke's Hospital total Community Benefit was $5,286,026 which was 13.% of its net operating revenue. This amount includes $1,363,173 in financial assistance costs provided by St. Luke's Hospital as defined by and required to be disclosed by NC law.
List of Standard Charges
St. Luke's Hospital is committed to empowering patients, in partnership with their care team, to make informed decisions about their healthcare. This includes helping patients understand the cost of their care, as well as financial assistance that may be available.
In compliance with federal law, St. Luke's Hospital provides a list of standard charges. As part of the FY 2019 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System rulemaking, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its guidelines to require hospitals to post a list of their current standard charges via the internet in a machine-readable format. This information must be updated at least annually.
The list charge of a hospital service is not equivalent to the actual amount paid by governmental or commercial insurance companies; accordingly, each patient's financial responsibility may vary. The amount a patient pays is based on many factors, including health insurance, benefit plans and other applicable discounts, and the services provided based on each patient's unique needs.
St. Luke's Hospital reviews our hospital charges annually to ensure they accurately reflect the high-quality care we seek to provide. In some cases, our charges are different from other providers when we offer a higher level of care and unique clinical expertise. Overall, St. Luke's Hospital works with patients, providers and partners to lower the cost of care through wellness, disease management and quality care.
In compliance with federal law, St. Luke's Hospital provides a list of standard charges here.
I understand that the List of Standard Charges represents inpatient and outpatient hospital services that may be provided in the facilities listed at the top of this page.
I understand that the List of Standard Charges includes hospital services only and does not contain professional fees for either St. Luke's Hospital or non-St. Luke's Hospital physicians or other advanced practitioners.
I understand that a single line item charge may not represent a complete medical service; in general, multiple charge line items are necessary to represent all components of a service (e.g. procedure(s), supplies, and drugs).
I understand the charge list posted on this website may not fully reflect the most current charge items or charge amounts, since additions and changes are frequently made to the listing.
I understand that the List of Standard Charges is not intended for media use.
I understand that St. Luke's Hospital provides price estimates for many common hospital services, and that I may call 828-894-0912 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to speak with a patient financial services representative (after first consulting with my ordering physician to obtain the applicable procedure code) to obtain a service-specific price estimate based on my individual circumstances and patient responsibility.
I do not accept
Resources for Consumers
The NC Division of Health Service Regulation requires that all NC hospitals report charging and payment information for the Top 100 Inpatient DRGs, Top 20 Outpatient Surgical Procedures and Top 20 Outpatient Imaging Procedures:
The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), in collaboration with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), provides resources to assist healthcare consumers understand healthcare prices as well as avoid surprise medical bills: https://www.hfma.org/consumerguide/.
CMS provides the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) documents as a resource for further clarification of the requirements:
St. Luke's Hospital
Attention: Financial Counseling
101 Hospital Drive
Columbus, NC 28722
Accepted Health Plans
Click here to review the health plans that St. Luke's Hospital currently accepts. This list will be updated monthly. Because this list changes, please verify that your doctor accepts your insurance plan.
Physician Contact Information
Certain physician and professional services are billed separately, so if you have any questions about physicians' bills, please contact them directly. Click here for physician offices' phone number.
Currently, St. Luke's Hospital does not post Schedule H, IRS Form 990 on its website. Copies are available upon request and the hospital's IRS Form 990 can be accessed online at www.guidestar.org.
Financial Counseling Department Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.