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Patient Financial Services

2021 FA Plain Language Summary of Hospital Financial Assistance Programs (English)


2021 FA Resumen de los programas de asistencia financiera del hospital


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 Discount

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.

Financial Assistance

St. Luke's Hospital and its facilities offer financial assistance based on the current Federal Poverty Guidelines to qualifying uninsured patients and guarantors with an outstanding balance owed for medically necessary services. Patient or guarantors may be determined Presumptively Eligible for financial assistance based on eligibility for other specific state and federal programs. If not, a complete Finance assistance application may be completed for review. Additional information regarding available financial aid, including copies of the Financial Assistance Policy and Financial Assistance Application is found at https://www.stlukesnc.org. Also, patients can obtain a copy of these documents at no cost by sending a request to St. Luke's Hospital Financial Counseling Department, 101 Hospital Dr. Columbus, NC 28722 or in person at the same address. You can reach our Financial Counselors Monday thru Friday at 828-894-0912. These counselors can assist you with any additional questions. Patients approved for financial assistance under the St. Luke's Hospital Assistance Policy are billed no more than the amount generally billed (AGB) to Medicare and our Private Health Insurers. Applications for Financial Assistance are also available in the following Languages:

Spanish: Hours are Monday thru Friday 8:00 until 5:00

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 pfcservices@slhnc.org. 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.

Hardship Settlement

Patients that have insurance but are left with large copays and deductibles totaling ,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.

AccessOne MedCard

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

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, 2020, St. Luke's Hospital's total Community Benefit was $5,521,049 which was 12.9% of its net operating revenue. This amount includes $1,912,122 in financial assistance costs provided by St. Luke's Hospital as defined by and required to be disclosed by NC law.

Price Estimation Tool

St. Luke's Hospital is pleased to offer patients a tool to estimate their out-of-pocket hospital costs for common medical procedures and tests. This online tool calculates the hospital's out-of-pocket cost estimates based on the selected procedure and a patient's insurance information. The tool can also be utilized to estimate hospital costs for patients who do not have insurance coverage.

We are committed to helping our patients understand the financial obligations associated with their care. It is important to understand the tool is not a guarantee of costs nor insurance coverage and is only an estimate. Please review the disclaimers in detail before using the tool.

St. Luke's Hospital recommends that patients review their insurance coverage prior to treatment to better understand their deductibles, co-pays, exclusions and other important factors that will affect what amount insurance will pay towards your care.

At St. Luke's Hospital, we understand that healthcare costs can be very confusing and we want to ensure patients understand their potential costs and out-of-pocket obligations as clearly as possible. In addition to utilizing our online tool, we encourage patients to contact us via our St. Luke's Hospital Price Estimation Line at 828-894-0959. Patient Financial Specialists are standing by to educate and assist patients regarding costs and billing.

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 regulation, St. Luke's Hospital provides a list of standard charges for each of its facilities. The public may view the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Pricing Transparency requirements at the following CMS webpage: www.cms.gov/hospital-price-transparency. The charge lists posted on this website are accurate, with applicable disclaimers, as of the dates indicated within the files. CMS requires hospitals to update annually. Therefore the published List of Standard Charges may not reflect ongoing additions or changes.

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. Many factors determine the amount a patient pays, including health insurance, benefit plans and other applicable discounts, as well as the services provided based on each patient's unique needs.

St. Luke's Hospital reviews its 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 differing level of care or 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.

Disclaimer

To comply with federal regulations, posted below are the comprehensive, machine-readable files. Due to the nature of the files, they will likely be of limited utility to any specific patient. It is not the intent for the files to be of use to the consumer or patient.

For a patient to best understand their estimated out-of-pocket costs, it is important to understand their plan benefits and coverage before seeking medical care. Any amount not covered by the plan becomes the financial responsibility of the patient or their guarantor (such as a parent of a minor child).

At the top of this page is a self-service Price Estimation Tool, which can help patients and consumers obtain cost estimates for many common hospital services St. Luke's Hospital provides. For more specific cost estimates, patients may call 828-894-0959, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time to speak with a patient financial services representative.

In order to obtain the most accurate estimate, please consult with your physician to obtain the procedure codes that will be related to your treatment. This information will allow St. Luke's Hospital to provide you with a service-specific, hospital price estimate based on your individual circumstances and patient responsibility.

Direct payer and Data inquiries to EMAIL
StandardChargesSLHNC@slhnc.org

If you are a member of the media using this tool to research a story, please contact MediaSLHNC@slhnc.org for assistance.

Accessing any files constitutes your agreement that you have read the above content and any additional supplementary disclaimers contained below.

Machine Readable File

St. Luke's Standard Charges

Contact Information

PHYSICAL ADDRESS
St. Luke's Hospital
Attention: Financial Counseling
101 Hospital Drive
Columbus, NC 28722

TELEPHONE
(828) 894-0912

EMAIL
pfcservices@slhnc.org

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.