Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should I expect to receive a bill?

A: Generally, claims are submitted to the insurance carriers on a daily basis and processed by the insurance carrier within 30 to 60 days. After the insurance carrier processes the claim, a statement for any guarantor responsibility will then be billed to you. If your insurance carrier requires additional information or denies the initial claim, an appeal process may delay your billing an additional 2 to 4 months.

Q: How do I know if Ochsner Health System contracts with my health plan?

A: To receive full insurance benefits, some insurance companies require patients to receive services with "in-network" or "participating provider" hospitals and physicians. Some insurance requires that certain services be authorized or pre-certified before the patient receives them. Call your insurance company to check its requirements and to make sure Ochsner Health System is in the network.

Q: What if my insurance company has no contractual agreement with Ochsner Health System?

A: If you are a customer of a private insurance company that does not have a contractual agreement with Ochsner Health System, you can still receive treatment at Ochsner. However, you will be financially responsible for the total charges and may be asked to make a deposit before receiving medical services at Ochsner. It is your responsibility to know what your insurance will and will not cover.

Q: Why can't I call about a statement if I am not the Guarantor or the Patient?

A: Due to the Privacy Act, we are only allowed to discuss account information with the guarantor or the patient.

Q: Does Ochsner Health System follow-up with my insurance company?

A: To ensure timely processing of your claim, Ochsner Health System follows up with your insurance company; however, it is recommended that patients periodically contact their insurance company on the status of the services that have been billed to them. By contacting your insurance company, it will help ensure your claims will be paid promptly and accurately.

Q: Does Ochsner Health System send the necessary information and paperwork to insurance providers?

A: Ochsner Health System tries to send all the necessary information to insurance companies; however, they sometimes need more information from you to process a claim. This may include information about Coordination of Benefits; Student Verification; Accident or Third Party Verification; Pre-existing Condition; or Primary Explanation of Benefits (if claim was submitted to a secondary insurance). You should receive an Explanation of Benefits from your insurance company asking for this information. Please respond to have the claim processed correctly. If the requested information is not submitted to your insurance company in a timely manner, you will be responsible for the outstanding charges and will receive a statement from Ochsner.

Q: Why are there names of physicians on my statement that I haven't seen?

A: Certain physicians help with your medical care even though you may not meet them. Commonly, these are the doctors who read your lab results, x-rays and EKGs, among others.

Q: What are the hours I can call regarding billing questions?

A: Ochsner's Patient Account Customer Service Department hours are Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you have any questions about the service on your Ochsner Health System statements or need additional assistance, please contact us at (504) 842-4190, Toll Free at 800-343-0269 or by TTY at (504) 842-3891.

Q: Does Ochsner Health System offer payment plans?

A: Total payment is expected for the patient's portion of the bill at the time of service or discharge. We accept cash, checks, money orders and all major credit cards. If you are unable to pay the full balance, you may qualify for a monthly payment plan based on an approved schedule. You may contact Customer Service at (504) 842-4190, Toll Free at 800-343-0269, or by TTY at (504) 842-3891 and speak with a representative.

Q: How will I know how much I owe?

A: If you have insurance coverage, your insurance company will send both Ochsner Health System and you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that details the amount it has paid, any non-covered or denied amounts, and the remaining balance that you are responsible for paying. You may receive your EOB before Ochsner does. Review your EOB carefully, compare it to your Ochsner Health System statement and call your insurance company or Ochsner's Customer Service department if you have any questions or concerns.

Q: How often will I receive a statement?

A: Statements are issued monthly. You will receive a statement every month until all payments are made, either by the insurance company or the guarantor.

Q: What type of payments does Ochsner Health System accept?

A: Ochsner Health System accepts cash, personal checks, debit cards, money orders, or credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express). We will charge your credit card only for the amount you authorize.

Q: How do I pay my bill?

A: Send your payment along with your statement stub to the billing address on your statement. You can also make payment by utilizing this link: http://www.peryourhealth.com/PYH/och.asp with the information provide on your statement. Please allow 72 hours for payment to be posted to your account when you pay on-line.

Q: How do I update my address/insurance information?

A: You can update your information by sending us an email using this link: billing@ochsner.org. You can also contact our Customer Service department at (504) 842-4190, Toll Free at 800-343-0269 or by TTY at (504) 842-3891 and provide the information.

Q: Why was my last payment divided and applied to the bill in two separate places?

A: We post your payment to the oldest charges or oldest account first.

Q: Can Ochsner Health System bill Worker's Compensation for my claim?

A: Yes, we normally can bill Worker's Compensation, but we need the following information: your social security number, the name of your employer, the date of injury, your Worker's Compensation claim number, and the name and address of the Worker's Compensation carrier.

Q: If I paid my bill and the insurance company paid the bill, will I receive a refund?

A: If the account was overpaid and after a thorough review it was determined that the amount belongs to you, you will receive a refund.

Q: When do I pay?

A: Payment is due at or before the time of service. Any remaining balance that you could be responsible for is due by the specified due date on your statement. Payments received after this date will not appear on your next statement and are considered past due.

Q: Why did I get multiple bills for the same procedure?

A: You may receive a statement for physician services and hospital services depending on where the procedure was performed.

Q: Why did my insurance company reject the claim or not pay the entire claim?

A: There are many reasons why claims are not paid or not paid entirely and could be as follows: your insurance may need additional information from you; charges may have been applied to your deductible; you are responsible for co-pays or co-insurance; charges could have been non-covered services; insurance coverage not in effect at time of services; and many more. Your insurance company should have sent you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that explains why the charges were not paid. You will need to contact your insurance company and discuss with them as to why the charges were not paid or rejected.

Q: Will you bill my insurance company?

A: Yes, we will bill your insurance company. If you did not provide this information at the time of your visit, please submit an email to billing@ochsner.org with the following information found on your insurance card: your insurance company's name and address; your policy and group numbers; and the policyholder's name, date of birth and employer.

Q: Will you bill my secondary insurance company?

A: If you provided us your secondary insurance information, we will send a claim to the insurance company. However, you will be responsible for sending a copy of the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your primary insurance company to your secondary insurance company. Your secondary insurance company will not process the claim until this EOB is received.

Q: Can I request an itemized hospital bill?

A: You can request a complete itemization of hospital services by calling Patient Account Customer Services at (504) 842-4190, Toll Free at 800-343-0269 or by TTY at (504) 842-3891.

Q: I have questions about Medicare. Do they have their own web site?

A: Yes, Medicare has a comprehensive web site. Go to http://www.medicare.gov for more information on Medicare.

Q: What does Medicare not pay for?

A: Medicare does not pay for any procedure it considers routine or preventive. You will be required to pay for these services.

Q: What is an Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN)?

A: An Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN) is a written notice that you may receive from physicians, providers or suppliers, before they furnish a service or item to you, notifying you: (A) That Medicare will probably deny payment for that specific service or item in your case. (B) The reason the physician, provider or supplier expects Medicare to deny payment. (C) That you will be personally and fully responsible for payment if Medicare denies payment. An ABN also gives you the opportunity to refuse to receive the service or item.

Q: Why does a single visit to a physician result in two charges?

A: A single visit to a physician may result in two charges: one for the preventive or routine component, and one for the problem-oriented component.

Q: I am an uninsured patient. What am I required to do?

A: Uninsured patients are required to deposit the estimated cost of scheduled services in advance. If additional testing, physician consultations or hospital admissions are necessary, additional deposits will be required. You can contact our Fee For Service line at (504) 842-3815 to obtain a quote for services. Discounts for your services may be available.