Getting answers regarding healthcare costs and insurance coverage can be complicated and confusing. We want to help by answering some of the most commonly asked questions and clarifying some of the misconceptions about patient financial responsibilities. For further information, please contact Patient Accounts at 417.347.6660.
What are your hours and where are you located?
The Patient Accounts department is open 8 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday. We are located at 3220 McClelland Boulevard (front door), Joplin, Missouri, a few blocks west of Freeman Hospital West. We welcome patients to visit without an appointment to ask questions and express concerns about their hospital bills.
How can I find out in advance how much my co-pay or out-of-pocket expense will be for my procedure?
Before your procedure, please refer to your insurance handbook or call your insurance provider to obtain details regarding your benefits. The hospital admitting staff will gladly help verify your benefits and provide an estimate of the patient portion of the bill, either during preregistration or when you register for admission.
Does Freeman offer payment options?
Yes. Freeman offers a number of payment options to help patients receive the healthcare they need while making payments on the patient portion of the bill. You may be asked to pay the estimated patient portion of your bill prior to receiving nonemergency healthcare; however, in many cases, you may be able to receive services by providing a deposit or making other payment arrangements.
Can I qualify for a revolving line of credit even if I don’t have spotless credit?
Many people without a credit history or with a credit history that’s less than perfect will qualify for this payment option. By following the terms of the revolving line of credit agreement and making all payments on time, you can use this opportunity to begin building a good credit history for yourself.
Does Freeman offer financial assistance?
Yes. Freeman offers financial assistance to qualifying patients. To be considered, simply complete a Financial Assistance Application providing proof of income and family size. Freeman determines eligibility based on Federal Poverty Guidelines. Patients who meet eligibility guidelines receive adjustments ranging from 35-100% of the patient portion of the bill, depending on income and family size. Freeman does not limit this assistance to self-pay patients; you may be eligible even if you have health insurance.
How can I get an Application for Financial Assistance?
You can obtain an application at any Freeman registration/admission area or the Patient Accounts office.
Where do I return my Financial Assistance Application?
You may return your application to any Freeman registration/admissions area or the Patient Accounts office. Or mail your application to Freeman Patient Accounts, 1102 West 32nd Street, Joplin, MO 64804.
Does Freeman bill my primary and secondary insurance carriers?
Yes. Freeman bills most commercial payers, Medicare, and Missouri Medicaid as a courtesy to patients. Patients are responsible for providing a current copy of their insurance information on each visit to Freeman. Failure to provide current insurance at time of service may result in a denial of your insurance claim.
For what services does Freeman bill?
Freeman bills for inpatient hospitalization and other services that included nursing or support staff to facilitate patient care. The health system also bills for diagnostic services such as laboratory tests, radiology services, and therapy services.
Why do I get bills from providers other than Freeman for the care I received in the hospital?
Some physician and professional charges are billed separately. You may get bills from physicians who provided treatment while you were hospitalized at Freeman; you may also receive bills for radiology interpretations, cardiac testing, and other specialized services that come from a provider other than Freeman.
How do I get an itemized bill for my medical services?
Please contact Patient Accounts at 417.347.6660 to have an itemized bill sent to your home. Or to obtain an itemized bill on demand, visit our office 8 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday, Freeman Business Center (front door), 3220 McClelland Boulevard, Joplin, Missouri.
What happens if my insurance company does not pay for all my services?
If the insurance company denies charges as a noncovered, Freeman will bill these charges to the patient or responsible party. If the insurance company denies charges or dates of service due to medical necessity or lack of prior authorization/approval, Freeman may attempt to appeal the denial on behalf of the patient. However, the patient may still be held responsible for these charges if the insurance company refuses to reverse the denial.
Why am I expected to pay my co-pay or estimated balance prior to receiving services or prior to leaving the hospital?
Insurance companies consider payment of the patient portion as the total payment. Failure to collect the patient portion may affect the contract between Freeman and your insurance company. Freeman takes your healthcare and a commitment to our community seriously; we would not want to provide elective services to patients that could result in financial burden to the patient.
Why can’t I know how much my Emergency Room service will cost?
The federal government mandates that hospitals provide emergency care regardless of a person’s ability to pay for it. This law is known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. The practice of identifying estimated costs for emergency treatment could discourage people from seeking the care to which they are entitled and the hospital is obligated to provide.
I left the Emergency Room before a physician saw me—why did I get a bill?
The Emergency Room has an obligation to treat and evaluate each patient with an initial screening exam. The medical screening exam is performed by clinical staff and may consist of taking vital signs and asking pertinent questions regarding your health and symptoms. Should you elect to leave prior to receiving full emergency services, you may be billed for the initial medical screening or assessment.
Why have I gotten another bill after I paid at time of service?
Freeman verifies your benefits and the estimated patient portion of your bill at or prior to the time of service, based on the information we receive from your insurance company and the treatment prescribed. Occasionally, prescribed services change on the treating physician’s orders, resulting in treatment that the registrar was unaware of at the time of estimate. These changes can affect the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses. Please note that identified patient portions are estimates and your insurance company determines the final patient liability upon payment of services rendered.
Why did I receive a refund after my insurance paid Freeman?
Freeman obtains information about your benefits from your insurance company to determine the patient portion of your bill. Your insurance company provides benefit information based on your previously paid claims. If previous claims have not processed, those payments may reduce your out-of-pocket liability, resulting in a change to your out-of-pocket expectations. Once Freeman identifies this, we will quickly initiate a refund to you if appropriate.
Why is my bill so expensive?
As the only locally owned, not-for-profit health system in the area, Freeman provides full-service healthcare 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer comprehensive services, including state-of-the-art emergency and trauma services, cancer care, heart care, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, and behavioral healthcare. We use the latest techniques, best practices, and cutting-edge technologies to provide the community with life-saving healthcare close to home. This level of care is expensive, and Freeman continually looks for ways to offset this expense through partnerships with community philanthropists.
What happens if I do not pay my Freeman bill?
If you have a balance due to Freeman and do not pay that balance, your account may be turned over to an outside collection agency. However, Freeman offers a number of payment options and financial assistance for those who qualify. Please contact Patient Accounts for help with payment options and financial assistance. We send accounts to collection agencies as a last resort and attempt to work out payment arrangements before this happens.
Why did I get a call from a collection agency regarding my outstanding balance while I am in dispute with my insurance company?
If this has happened to you, it’s because our records reflect you have an outstanding balance. While you have a right to appeal your insurance company’s failure to pay, you are still responsible for the balance due during the appeal process.
Get help with your bill
- Get information on federal and state financial assistance programs
- For help with your bill before or during your visit:
Contact a financial counselor, 8 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday.
- Joplin (Choose number according to the first letter of the patient’s last name.)
- For help with your account following your visit:
- 888.707.4500 (toll free)