Patient Financial Services
Our Patient Financial Services department provides patients and third-party insurance carriers with timely and accurate billings. We also ensure that each patient understands his or her financial responsibility for medical services, and help with financial aid options when needed. We offer the following services:
- Billing directly to insurance providers – Before we bill patients, we bill your insurance company, including Medicare and Medicaid, and any secondary insurance. At the same time, we send you billing statements so you are aware of any insurance activity. The statement will show that the balance is pending with insurance. See a full list of insurance we accept.
- Billing statements in plain language – Your monthly billing statements show the most current balance you owe until all payments are made by the insurance company or by you.
- World-class customer service and financial counseling – We are happy to answer your billing questions, help with payment issues, assist with financial aid programs, or arrange for an interpreter.
A Smooth Billing Process
At Sarasota Memorial, we are committed to making the billing process as patient-friendly as possible. Here are some ways you can help the process go smoothly:
- Give us your complete health insurance information when you check in for your appointment.
- Let us know if your personal or insurance information has changed since your last visit.
- Understand and follow the requirements of your health plan, including benefits,proper authorization for services, referrals or claim forms, and coordination of benefits forms.
- Understand that many insurance plans require patients to pay a copayment or deductible amount at the time of registration, service or discharge.
- Respond promptly to requests from your insurance provider. If your insurance provider has not paid us after a reasonable time (usually 60 days after billing)and has not responded to our attempts to resolve payment on your behalf, the amount owed may become your responsibility.
- If you have a balance due on a bill, please make timely payments. Do not wait for your insurance company to pay pending balances.
- If you have an insurance plan that is not contracted with Sarasota Memorial or if you do not have insurance, we will ask you to meet with a financial counselor prior to scheduling your appointment. He or she will prepare an estimated cost of services and will request a deposit covering half of those expenses. If you are unable to pay the deposit, we can determine whether you are eligible for government or Sarasota Memorial financial assistance programs.
After you or your doctor tells us about a service or procedure you need, our Registration staff will contact you for demographic and insurance information. Providing the correct information allows us to process your insurance claim quickly and accurately. Please have your insurance card with you when visiting Sarasota Memorial.
Newborn babies are usually eligible for coverage under your hospitalization policy, but only if they are added to your policy within 30 days of birth. It is your responsibility to contact your employer and your insurance carrier to enroll your child. If you are covered by Medicaid or Medicaid-related insurance, you must add your newborn to your Medicaid case. Sarasota Memorial has a Medicaid caseworker onsite who can assist you.
Referrals and Authorizations
Most insurance companies require that your primary care physician refer you to receive specialty care. Each plan is different, and it is your responsibility to know the requirements of your plan and obtain any necessary referrals. You may be responsible for payment or your appointment may have to be rescheduled if you do not get the necessary approvals.
Many insurance plans also require prior authorization for services. If your insurance company does not approve your care, we will notify you in advance and you will be responsible for payment, should you choose to proceed with services.
For information, call 941-917- 1540. Billing representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For comparative information on hospital costs and quality, please visit the Mission to Care website. This site combines data from publicly available resources to display average prices by hospital and by medical condition or procedure. The data is based on commercial insurance rates only. Because the Mission to Care website does not provide exact information about what you will pay, please contact Sarasota Memorial or your insurance company to learn your estimated cost of services.