We understand that billing and insurance information is often confusing. Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is here to make the process clear and offer assistance at any point you have a question.
Are You an Inpatient or Outpatient?
It sounds like an obvious question, but did you know that even if you stay in the hospital overnight, you might still be considered an “outpatient?” And the answer matters because your hospital status as an “inpatient” or an “outpatient” affects how much you pay for hospital services like X-rays, drugs and lab tests. Your hospital status may also affect whether Medicare will cover your aftercare in a skilled nursing facility (SNF).
If you are in the hospital more than a few hours, always ask your doctor or the hospital staff if you’re an inpatient or outpatient. Then, ask to speak to the hospital case management department about how your insurance plan covers inpatient, outpatient or outpatient observation services. Generally, it will fall into two categories:
- Inpatient: As an inpatient, you will likely pay a one-time deductible for all of your hospital services during your inpatient stay.
- Outpatient: As an outpatient, you will likely pay a copayment for each individual outpatient hospital service. This amount may vary by service.
Refer to the Inpatient Folder for more specific inpatient/outpatient scenarios and what they may mean for coverage. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, you can call 800.633.42277 (800.MEDICARE).
Charges on Your Hospital Bill
The last thing we want is for you to be caught off guard or confused by the charges on your hospital bill. That’s why we are happy to talk with you about your patient expenses — call 314.362.8400 .
We are committed to sending your bill to you as quickly as possible. Once you receive it, look for:
- Clearly listed services and due date: The bill you receive from the hospital will clearly state the services provided and when payment should be received.
- Additional billing: It is possible that you may receive services from other healthcare professionals while you are at the hospital that may be billed separately. Physicians, laboratory and radiology services are examples of professional fees that may be billed separately from the hospital.
- Upfront payments: There are some payments which were probably required from you at the time services were provided, such as insurance deductibles, co-pays and payment for services not covered by insurance.
If you have insurance coverage, we will bill your insurance carrier soon after your health care services have been provided. If you do not have insurance coverage, we will send the bill directly to you.
Know that your financial situation should never compromise the quality of care you receive. At Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, we are happy and willing to work with all patients regardless of their insurance coverage. Please let us know if you need help to pay your bill while you are still here in the hospital. All information will be kept confidential.
You may qualify for financial assistance. Find out more about our Financial Assistance Policy and contact our customer service representatives to determine if help is available for you.
Have More Questions About Billing?
If you have questions about your bill, please call 314.362.8400 or 855.362.8400. Note: The billing office is not located on-site at the hospital.