Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I find out what Meriter charges for a medical procedure I'm planning to have?
A: If you would like to request a price for a future service, please call the Patient Estimates team at (608) 417-5030. In order to be able to give you the most accurate information possible, we ask that you try to obtain information from your physician about what procedure he/she is requesting be done. Your physician should be able to supply a CPT or ICD-10 procedure code. We can then look at our database, and give you a more accurate price quote.
Please note that you will be given an average cost or a price range rather than a specific estimate. The final charges are based on a variety of factors related to the clinical service provided, the diagnosis associated with those services, supplies used, etc. While it is possible to estimate these, it is not possible to precisely define these until after the service has been provided.
Q: I received a letter about making a payment before my hospital stay. What does this mean?
We understand that hospital billing can be confusing. Our goal is to be upfront and transparent about your expected cost, so you aren't surprised later. This also gives us the chance to connect you with resources, both in the hospital and in the community, if you need financial assistance. You will still be able to receive hospital services if you are unable to pay in advance.
Q: Where can I pay my hospital bill in full?
A: Pay your bill online. You can also pay your hospital bill in full at the Guest Services office. We take cash, check and credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover).
Q: Why am I being charged for things on days when I wasn't even at the hospital?
A: Please note that we try to ensure that the dates on an itemized bill are the dates of service. However, we sometimes order supplies, pharmaceuticals and other items in anticipation of your arrival. These items may show a date prior to your admission. On occasion, we may enter a charge date incorrectly. The charge may be valid, but posted with an inaccurate date-of-service. In these instances, we verify the actual date with your medical chart.
Q: Why does my bill show a nursery charge, when our newborn never stayed in the Birthing Center's nursery but rather roomed with us?
A: We separate nursery charges from labor and delivery room service charges. We need to do this for monitoring purposes and because it is required by regulatory agencies. Please note that the nursery charge is for providing care to your infant wherever he/she is located. It also includes:
- Your infant bed (isolette) and bedding
- Other infant equipment and supplies, including scales, alcohol wipes, infant warmers, needles, syringes and tubes for blood collection
Q: Why am I being charged for nursing care even though I was not in my room, but instead was in the operating room, at medical imaging or in physical therapy?
A: Staffing is based upon the number of patients and the amount of care they need. Even if you are away from your room, a nurse on that unit has been assigned to your care. This way, if you come back from a test or operation early we are ready for your return. Also, while you're away from your room your nurse may receive a report on your condition and prepare your room as needed.
You should also know that Meriter Hospital charges for nursing on an hourly basis. This way, you are only charged for nursing for the time you spend at Meriter. For instance, if you're discharged at 11 a.m., you will only be charged for 11 hours of nursing on that day instead of an entire day or shift of nursing care. Some hospitals charge a flat daily rate, but we believe that charging on an hourly basis is more fair.
Q: Why are you billing me when worker's compensation should have paid for my care?
A: Meriter will submit claims to worker's compensation if you provide us with complete and accurate billing information. This includes your insurance carrier, the name of your employer, the date of your injury and a claim number, if you have one. However, submission of a claim does not guarantee payment from any insurance provider. Your worker's compensation carrier may have denied payment as the services you received were not due to a work related injury, they have requested information from you and have not received it, the insurance information we have listed may be incorrect or incomplete or there may have been a significant delay in your carrier paying your claim. In instances such as this we may bill you for balances not paid by your worker's compensation carrier.
Q: I just got a letter from you saying it's been 45 days since you billed my insurance and you haven't heard from them yet. Did you bill my insurance?
A: We will bill your insurance provider if you give us the necessary information. This includes:
- The name and address of your insurance provider
- The name of the insured person
- The policy and group numbers
If you have more than one insurance provider, we must receive information on each health insurance plan that covers you. Please note that if you do not provide all required information upon admission, you may be responsible for the entire balance. If your insurance provider does not pay your claim, we may ask you to become involved as it can speed up the processing of your claim. We will bill you for balances not paid by your insurance provider.
Q: Why am I being billed when I gave my insurance information to the person that admitted me?
A: There are several reasons. You may be getting a bill for the balances not paid by your insurance provider. The amount you are being billed may be your deductible, your copay amounts and/or charges not covered by your insurance carrier. We are notified of these amounts by your insurance carrier after we submit your claim. The "Explanation of Benefits" summary you receive from your insurance carrier should show you how benefits were paid and how your carrier determined your self pay responsibility.
It is possible that the insurance information we have listed may be incorrect or incomplete or they have requested information from you and have not received it.
It is also possible that there has been significant delay in your insurance carrier paying your claim. In instances such as this we may bill you for balances not paid by your insurance provider.
Please contact our Customer Relations Center at (608) 417-3800 or toll free at (866) 286-6727 if you have additional questions.
Q: I received care at Meriter and received several bills. Why don't you put all of the charges on one bill?
A: Each provider bills for its services separately. While all of your care may have occurred at Meriter, you still may have received care from different providers. For instance, a patient brought to the ER for a broken leg may receive care from an ER physician, a radiologist and Meriter nursing staff. As physicians are often employed by a physician group, each of these providers will send separate bills.
Q: I got my Explanation of Benefits from my insurance company last week saying they paid my bill. Today, I received a bill from Meriter that doesn't reflect my insurance company's payment. Why?
A: Generally, the reason you receive our bill after your insurance provider has paid the balance is because the payment and the bill crossed in the mail. Also, an insurance provider may mark a claim as "paid" in their records when they still need to print out the check and mail it. It also takes us a day or two to process each payment.
Q: I gave my insurance information to the hospital when I filled out the pre-admission forms during my pregnancy. Why am I getting a letter from you telling me to add my baby to my insurance policy? Can't you just bill them?
A: In order for your insurance provider to process any claims related to the birth of your child, they must first know that the baby was born and receive instructions to add your baby to your plan. Even though it may be the same coverage, each person must be added to your plan.