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Financial Services

GENERAL INFORMATION

Billing and insurance can be confusing. We recognize this and provide telephone customer service representatives to help you and your family with financial questions.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to speak with someone about:

  • An itemized listing of your bill
  • An explanation of your bill
  • Payment arrangements
  • What your insurance paid and what is due

There are multiple ways to contact us regarding your financial obligations.

Phone:
(225) 215-1310
From 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
(Voice mail available after regular business hours)

Mail:
Correspondence regarding your bill can be sent to:
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Attn: Patient Account Representative
4950 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center accepts all insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and private payment. Payment may be made with cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Billing

Will you bill my primary and secondary insurance?
You will need to provide us with complete primary insurance information. As a courtesy to our patients, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center submits bills to your insurance company and will do everything possible to advance your claim. Doctor and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center charges will be included on one bill. However, it may become necessary for you to contact your insurance company or supply additional information to them for claims processing requirements or to expedite payment.

Are itemized statements automatically sent to patients?
No. We send monthly statements to the patient, which include only the charges with a patient balance. To request an itemized statement, call the Business Office at (225) 215-1257.

Do you offer payment arrangements?
Yes, payment arrangements may be made by contacting the Business Office at (225) 215-1257.

Do you provide estimates for my course of treatment?
Yes. However, it is only an estimate, which is based on your individual course of treatment.

Why am I receiving a refund check?
There was an overpayment to your account. Either you paid too much on the account and/or your insurance paid at a later date and covered some of what you already paid.

Why did my insurance deny the claim?
One or more of the following may apply:

• The service you received was not covered under your plan.
• You did not provide the correct insurance information at the time of service.
• The service you received was from a doctor outside your plan’s network.
• You were not covered by your plan at time of service.
• Your primary care doctor did not process a referral for the services or an authorization was not obtained prior to the services being rendered.

Can I come in and talk to someone regarding my bill?
Yes, our patient financial counselors are here to assist you from 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Must I check in each time I come to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center?
Yes, information gathered from patient registration is stored in our computer system. We retrieve this information each time the patient returns for services and we ask the patient to verify that the information is current and accurate. Medicare requires that specific questions be asked to determine whether Medicare or another payor is primary. Your assistance in verifying the information is always appreciated. Information may be obtained prior to the service, eliminating a stop at the registration office.

I don’t have any insurance. Is there any help available?
We can assist you in several ways: we have financial counselors who will assist you with applying for Medicaid or will give you advice on how to proceed. If you do not qualify for any type of Government programs, we can review your financial status to see if you qualify for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Financial Support Program.

Why is there an error on my bill?
If you have questions about your bill, or believe that it is incorrect, call the Business Office, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Confidential voice mail is available after hours and your call will be returned on the next business day.

What is a co-payment?
A co-payment is a set fee the member pays to providers at the time services are rendered. Co-pays are applied to office visits, emergency room visits, hospital admissions, etc. The costs are usually minimal. The patient should be aware of the co-payment amounts prior to the date of service.

What is a deductible?
Deductibles are provisions that require the member to accumulate a specific amount of medical bills before benefits are paid. For example, if a member’s policy contains a $500 deductible, the member must accumulate and pay $500 out of pocket before the insurance carrier will pay benefits. Once the patient has met their deductible, the carrier usually pays a percentage of the bill. The patient is liable for the unpaid percentage. Deductibles are yearly, usually starting in January.

What is co-insurance?
Co-insurance is a form of cost-sharing. After your deductible has been met, the plan will begin paying a percentage of your bills. The remaining amount, known as co-insurance, is the portion due by the patient.

Why did my insurance company only pay part of my bill?
Most insurance plans require you to pay a deductible and/or co-insurance. In addition, you could be responsible for non-covered services. Please contact your insurance company for specific answers to your questions. You may have out-of-pocket expenses.

Why do I need to call the insurance company if they do not pay the bill?
If you have a PPO policy, you are ultimately responsible for the total bill or any portion of the bill your insurance carrier does not pay. The Business Office will make every effort to resolve the account balance with your insurance carrier. Occasionally, we will be unable to resolve the issue with your carrier and will need your assistance.

If I have an HMO policy, can I be billed if they do not pay?
If you have an HMO policy, you should only be billed for the amount specified on your explanation of benefits (EOB) that is provided to you by your insurance carrier. This usually includes co-pay amounts, deductibles and non-covered services.

I belong to a managed care plan. What should I do before I begin treatment?
Read your insurance plan booklet to be sure you have followed all the guidelines for referrals and authorizations, or call your insurance carrier for assistance. Failure to follow your plan requirements may result in greater out-of-pocket expenses for you. Your primary care doctor plays a very important role in this process. If you receive a verbal authorization number, please provide us with this information at registration.

Insurance

How do I know if my health plan includes Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center?
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center participates in most major health plans in Louisiana. In addition, please review your health plan provider directory and/or consult with your health plan to confirm coverage.

How will Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center know in which health plan I participate?
Please present your current health plan identification card when you register at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

What is the difference between an HMO and a PPO?
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) require a patient to select a Primary Care Doctor to coordinate his or her care. Most HMOs provide care through a network of hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals, that as a patient, you must use to be covered for that service. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) provide care through a network of hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals. When patients utilize health care providers within the network, they receive a higher benefit and pay less money out of their pocket. Services received by a non-participating hospital or doctor may still be covered, but often at a reduced benefit level.

What does “in-network” and “out-of-network” mean?
If you receive your health care services from a hospital, doctor or other health care provider that participates in your health plan, they are often referred to as “in-network.” Hospitals, doctors or other health care providers who do not participate in your health plan may be referred to as “out-of-network.”

How do I know if my health plan requires a referral or pre-certification for a service?
Your benefit book or provider directory should provide this for you. If not, call the customer service phone number listed on your identification card.

What should I do if my health plan includes Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center as a participating provider, but I receive an explanation of benefits stating I am out-of-network?
Consult your health plan.

What if I have questions on my bill?
If you have questions about your Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center bill, or feel that it is incorrect, call (225) 215-1257 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please have the patient’s name and account number listed on the bill ready when you call.

Disability and Social Security

What are my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to this act, a person with a disability is one who:

• Has physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
• Has a record of such an impairment
• Is regarded as having such an impairment

As long as the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee does not cause “undue hardship” to the operation of an employer’s business, that employer must make accommodations for the employee. The ADA defines undue hardship as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer’s size, financial resources and the nature and structure of its operation. Lowering quality or production standards to make accommodations for a disabled employee is not required by the employer. The employer is not responsible for providing personal items for the disabled such as glasses or hearing aids. For more information:

• ADA information line for publications, questions and referrals: (800) 514-0301 or click here.
• EEOC contact for ADA provisions and how to file an ADA complaint: (800) 669-4000 or click here.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are insured, meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need. Social Security definition of disability based on your ability to work:

• Cannot do work that you did before and Social Security Administration determines that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s)
• Your disability must last or be expected to last for at least one (1) year or result in death

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings and investments. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

How do I Apply for Social Security Disability?
• Apply as soon as you become disabled
• Apply at the nearest Social Security office, by phone or by mail

What information will I need to file a claim?
• Your social security number and proof of age
• Names, addresses and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, clinics and institutions that treated you and dates of treatments
• Names of all medications you are taking
• Medical records from your doctor, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers
• Laboratory and test results
• A summary of where you worked and kind of work you did
• Your most recent W-2 form, or your tax return if you are self-employed

Important: You will need to submit original documents or copies certified by the issuing office. You can mail or bring them to Social Security. Photocopies will be made and your originals returned to you.

How long will it take?
Claims for disability benefits take more time to process than other types of Social Security claims. Usually from 5 to 6 months. You can help shorten the process by bringing the required documents with you when you apply and by helping Social Security get any other medical evidence needed to show that you are disabled.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask your social worker.

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