Understanding Hospital Charge Information
The amount a hospital bills for a patient’s care is known as the “charge.” This is not the same as the actual cost or amount paid for the care. The amount collected by a hospital for each service is almost always less than the amount billed. Contacting our Patient Financial Services Department will allow you to get a more accurate estimate of what you will have to pay for services.
Are Charges the Same for Every Patient?
Because each case is different based on the patient’s medical condition, a given patient’s charge amount will not necessarily be the same as another patient. If two patients have the same service or procedure but one is healthy, and one has a chronic illness, it is likely that the patient with the chronic illness would need more intensive care thus creating a bill with higher charges than the healthy patient’s bill.
The amount you are responsible for also depends on your insurance coverage. We negotiate discounted rates with insurance companies and if yours is in network with our hospital, you will be responsible for a lower amount than someone with out of network coverage or no insurance.
Patients with no insurance or with financial difficulty, may receive discounted rates based on their income. Our Financial Counselor will work with you to determine those discounts. You can view our Financial Assistance Policy here
You can contact our Financial Counselor at (229) 758-3554. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
What is Not Included in the Chargemaster List?
The hospital’s Chargemaster does not include charges for services provided by the doctor (or doctors) who treat you while you are at the hospital. You may receive separate bills from the hospital and the doctors involved in your care.
The list below reflects health care providers that may bill you separately:
- Any physician involved in your care if he/she sees you in the hospital
- The radiologist who reads your x-rays or other imaging
- The surgeon that performs your procedure
- The pathologist who examines specimens, if applicable
- Other doctors who may be consulted by your doctor during your stay in the hospital
Please consult with your insurance provider to understand your insurance coverage, deductible, co-payments, co-insurance, out of pocket maximums, etc., so that you can make an informed decision about your care and expenses.