Billing and Financial Assistance Information

Billing Customer Service
Thank you for choosing UAB Medicine for your health care needs. We understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with both your health and health care billing, so our goal is to make the entire process as easy as possible for you. We want to do everything we can to provide the financial information you expect and deserve. This guide contains helpful information concerning your financial obligations. If you have questions or need help, our experienced customer service professionals are happy to assist you in person or over the phone.

Please take a moment to review this information prior to your visit so we can provide the support you need to understand and manage your health care bills.

 


 

Insurance Considerations
It is important to remember that every insurance policy is different. Your medical coverage is a contract between you and your insurance company. If possible, please contact your insurance company in advance to gather details on the coverage your policy provides. It is important to: 

  • Identify whether your insurance carrier requires a referral, prior authorization or precertification before receiving treatment, and;
  • Determine whether UAB is classified as “in-network” or “out-of-network”, because out-of-pocket charges are often higher if services are considered to be outside your network.

When you visit us, please bring two forms of identification and the proper insurance identification cards so we can bill your insurance carrier.

  • Medical costs are often unanticipated and not all costs are covered by insurance. When your visit or hospital stay is completed, you will be expected to pay any charges that will not be reimbursed by insurance (e.g. co-payments, deductibles, coinsurance, and non-covered services). If you feel that you need assistance in meeting your financial obligations, or if you do not have insurance, please see the Financial Assistance section.

Billing Customer Service Resources
Please use the contact information below to identify the appropriate customer service professionals to visit or call if you have a question regarding your bill:

UAB Hospital Customer Service
1222 14th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205
(205) 934-6400
Toll Free: (888) 309-8435
uabpatient@uabmc.edu
Payments may be mailed to: University of Alabama Hospital, PO Box 2252, Birmingham, AL 35246-0036

The University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C (UAHSF) Customer Service
500 22nd Street South Suite 208
Birmingham, AL 35233
(205) 731-6055
Toll Free: (866) 610-6055
msocs@uabmc.edu  

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital
Business Office
1720 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35233
(205) 325-8566

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Clinic
Business Office
700 18th Street South, Suite 406
Birmingham, Al. 35233
(205) 325-8279
Payments may be mailed to: PO Box 830941, MSC #559, Birmingham, AL 35283

 

Financial Assistance
We offer many options that you may qualify for to help fulfill your financial obligations, including discounts and payment plans. We will work with you to consider options that will best fit your needs. Please contact a customer service professional at (205) 801-9910 or toll free at (800) 388-7210 for any questions about your health care bill. Below are highlights regarding our Financial Assistance Program, and we encourage you to download and review the Financial Assistance Letter and Application, as well as our additional Billing & Financial Services information.

Providing health care for those in need
UAB Medicine is committed to providing financial assistance to persons who have health care needs and are uninsured, underinsured, ineligible for a government program, or otherwise unable to pay for medically necessary care based on their individual financial situations. Consistent with its mission to deliver compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services and to serve those who are underserved, UAB Medicine strives to ensure that the financial capacity of people who need health care services does not prevent them from seeking or receiving care. UAB Medicine will provide, without discrimination, care of emergency medical conditions to individuals regardless of their eligibility for financial assistance or government assistance.

Guidelines for qualifying for financial assistance

  • Financial assistance is available for medically necessary services. For more information on eligibility for financial assistance, review our Billing & Financial Services information and Financial Assistance Letter and Application
  • A UAB representative will ask patients not covered by health insurance if they have the ability to pay and, if not, inform them of the Financial Assistance Program. All patients who express an interest in the Financial Assistance Program will be provided an application or be transferred to the Financial Counselors.
  • Eligibility for financial assistance is based upon the U.S. Government’s Federal Poverty Guidelines. These guidelines are updated annually. Patients with gross annual household income of 200% or less of Federal Poverty Guidelines qualify for full charity care, assuming all other eligibility criteria are met. Patients with gross annual household income of 200% to 400% of Federal Poverty Guidelines may qualify for discounted charges, assuming all other eligibility criteria are met.
  • If you apply for financial assistance, you must provide us with all information necessary to apply for other financial resources that may be available to you. A listing of required documentation is provided with the application.
  • If an applicant refuses to apply or provide information necessary to the application process for qualification for other assistance options noted in the policy, the applicant is not eligible for the Financial Assistance Program.
  • The financial information requested includes, but is not limited to, monthly income and expenses, as well as assets. Download the Financial Assistance Letter and Application for a full listing of required information.
  • Applications must be complete, signed, and dated. A determination is made by our UAB Medicine Financial Assistance Coordinators as to 100% approval, partial approval, or denial based on our established guidelines. A letter of notification is sent to the patient within 7 business days of submission of a completed application.
  • Patients requesting financial assistance for non-emergency outpatient clinic appointments are not eligible for appointment consideration until he/she completes the application portion of the Financial Assistance Letter and Application and receives a financial assistance determination letter.

How to apply for financial assistance

  • Step 1: Request an Application. Patients may receive an application by:
  • Step 2: Complete and return the application to the address listed on the application.
  • Step 3: UAB reviews your application. Our UAB Medicine Financial Assistance Coordinators will review your application to determine if you qualify for assistance according to our guidelines.
  • Step 4: You receive a decision. Our UAB Medicine Financial Assistance Coordinators will send a letter to notify the patient/guarantor of approval or denial of the charity care application and the level of assistance for which they are eligible. A letter of notification will be sent to the patient within 7 business days of submission of a completed application.

Financial assistance is not considered to be a substitute for personal responsibility. Patients are expected to cooperate with UAB Medicine’s procedures for obtaining financial assistance or other forms of payment or financial assistance  and to contribute to the cost of their care based on their individual ability to pay.

Applicants are expected to provide accurate information to the best of their ability. Falsifying information will be grounds for denial of financial assistance.

Download the Billing & Financial Services Information

Download the Financial Assistance Letter and Application

Financial Assistance Customer Service Resources
If you have questions or need help regarding our Financial Assistance Program at any point before, during, or after your stay, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service professionals, who are happy to assist you in person or over the phone at (205) 801-9910 or toll free at (800) 388-7210.

Request a Statement of Services
If you require a detailed statement of your charges, please call the business office for the provider of your bill during regular business hours to speak to a representative. If you are calling after business hours, you may use the automated telephone system to request a statement by the next business day.

UAB Hospital Customer Service
(205) 934-6400
Toll Free: (888) 309-8435

The University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C (UAHSF) Customer Service
(205) 731-6055
Toll Free: (866) 610-6055

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital
(205) 325-8566

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Clinic
(205) 325-8279

UAB Medicine Price Transparency
Understanding health care costs and what you are actually charged can be difficult. We know it’s complicated and can be hard to understand. The information on this page is provided to help answer some of your questions about health care costs and charges and become more informed about our pricing.

How Are Prices Determined?
Pricing for health care services and what you are ultimately charged depends on many factors. In addition to the basic pricing for the treatment or procedure you undergo, your bill may include additional amounts for things such as anesthesia, medical equipment, the hospital room, lab tests, medications, radiology services, supplies, provider charges, and care involving unexpected conditions or complications.

How Are Prices Calculated in the Price List?
In order to provide a more accurate representation of what a “normal” charge would be, we removed the instances where a service or procedure was way outside of the normal range of charges. For example, if 1,000 people are charged between $200 - $250 for a certain procedure, but because of unforeseen and unusual circumstances, one person was charged $750, we didn’t include that charge when calculating the “normal” cost because it wouldn’t be a good representation of what the charge would likely be. (More specifically, Hospital inpatient DRG standard charges include patient stays with total charges within +/-1 standard deviation of mean charges. Inpatient stays with total charges outside +/-1 standard deviation of mean charges have been removed in order to represent a more normalized representation of patient pricing.)

What Will I Be Charged?
This question is difficult to answer because of all the factors that can affect your bill. The best way to find out is to ask. The answer often may be, “It depends”, but we’ll do our best to provide an answer based on your specific situation. It’s also good to talk to your insurance provider, to find out what your policy covers and how much.

Keep in mind that in general, the more complex or long-term the care is, the harder it becomes to estimate costs upfront – especially if unexpected complications or other health care needs arise. If you’d like to view a list of basic charges for UAB Medicine or Callahan Eye Hospital, you may download it here.

Where Can I Get More Information about UAB Medicine or Callahan Eye Hospital costs?
For more information about our pricing and your specific charges, please ask your care provider during your visit. Or for UAB Medicine, you may speak with someone directly by calling 205-934-6400, toll-free at 888-309-8435 or emailing uabpatient@uabmc.edu. For Callahan Eye Hospital, you may speak with someone in the Business Office by calling 205-325-8566.

Where Can I Get General Information about Price Transparency or Health Care Pricing Efforts?
Here are links to several reputable, free online resources that can help you better understand health care pricing and insurance.

Charge
The dollar amount a provider sets for services rendered before negotiating any discounts. The charge can be different from the amount paid. Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries, privately insured patients, and uninsured patients who qualify for financial assistance rarely pay full charges. Uninsured patients who do not qualify for financial assistance may be asked to pay full charges, but often ultimately pay a lower price.

Co-Pay
A copayment is a fixed dollar amount that an insured patient is required to pay directly to a health care provider at the time of service for each visit. The amount can vary by the type of covered health care service. The copayment is due in addition to any deductible.

Cost
The definition of cost varies by the party incurring the expense: To the patient, cost is the amount payable out of pocket for healthcare services, which may include deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, amounts payable by the patient for services that are not included in the patient’s benefit design, and amounts balance billed by out-of-network providers. Health insurance premiums constitute a separate category of healthcare costs for patients, independent of healthcare service utilization. To the provider, cost is the expense (direct and indirect) incurred to deliver healthcare services to patients.

Coinsurance
The percentage share of the cost of a covered health care service is called coinsurance. This (for example, 20 percent) is based on the allowed amount for the service. You pay coinsurance plus any deductibles you owe. For example, if the health plan’s allowed amount for an office visit is $100 and you’ve met your deductible, your coinsurance payment of 20 percent would be $20. The health insurance or plan pays the rest of the allowed amount.

Deductible
A deductible is the dollar amount an insured patient is expected to pay for health care services before a health plan begins to pay over the course of a year. For example, if your deductible is $1,000, your plan won’t pay anything until you’ve paid $1,000 toward covered health care services that are subject to the deductible. The deductible may not apply to all services.

Financial Assistance
UAB Medicine provides financial assistance to persons who have health care needs and are uninsured, underinsured, ineligible for a government program, or otherwise unable to pay for medically necessary care based on their individual financial situations.

In-Network
An in-network provider is a hospital that has contracted with the health insurance company to provide services to plan members for specific, pre-negotiated rates. Typically, if a patient visits a physician or other provider within the network, the amount the patient will be responsible for paying will be less than at an out-of-network provider. It is the responsibility of the patient to contact the insurance provider to determine if a physician or hospital is in-network or out-of-network.

Out-of-Network
An out-of-network provider is not contracted with the health insurance plan. As a result, the patient likely will incur higher out-of-pocket expenses. It is the responsibility of the patient to contact the insurance provider to determine if a physician or hospital is in-network or out-of-network.

Out-of-Pocket Payment
The portion of total payment for medical services and treatment for which the patient is responsible, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Out-of-pocket payment also includes amounts for services that are not included in the patient’s benefit design and amounts for services balance billed by out-of-network providers. For insured patients, out-of-pocket payment can be affected by a number of variables beyond copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. For example, the use of an out-of-network provider can significantly increase the amount of an out-of-pocket payment. Out-of-pocket payment for insured patients thus depends on the specifics of each patient’s benefit design and on the contracting status of the relevant providers. For uninsured patients, out-of-pocket payment can rise to the full charge for a service, although patients rarely pay full charges today.

Payer
An organization that negotiates or sets rates for provider services, collects revenue through premium payments or tax dollars, processes provider claims for service, and pays provider claims using collected premium or tax revenues. Examples include commercial health plans (also known as insurers), third-party health plan administrators, and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Payment Plans
As a courtesy, UAB Medicine will allow patients to satisfy an outstanding balance incrementally through a payment plan.

Price
The total amount a provider expects to be paid by payers and patients for healthcare services. The price of healthcare services often differs depending on whether the patient has insurance coverage or is eligible for financial assistance. For an insured patient, the price for healthcare services is the rate negotiated for services between the payer and the provider, including any copayments, coinsurance, or deductible due from the insured patient.
For an uninsured patient, price is first determined by eligibility for financial assistance. If the patient qualifies for financial assistance, the price is reduced according to the terms of the provider’s financial assistance policy, provided that the patient works with the provider to supply the documentation necessary to establish financial need.
If an uninsured patient has the financial means to pay for the services rendered, the price could be as much as the provider’s full charge for the services, although the patient and the provider may negotiate a discount from the charge.

Price Transparency
In health care, readily available information on the price of healthcare services that, together with other information, helps define the value of those services and enables patients and other care purchasers to identify, compare, and choose providers that offer the desired level of value.

Provider
An entity, organization, or individual that furnishes a healthcare service. Examples of providers include (but are not limited to) hospitals, health systems, physicians and other clinicians, pharmacies, ambulance services, ambulatory surgical centers, rehabilitation centers, and skilled nursing facilities.

Value
The quality of a healthcare service in relation to the total price paid for the service by care purchasers

Billing and Insurance FAQs
Included are some frequently asked questions regarding billing and insurance. Before you schedule an appointment or procedure at UAB, always check with your insurance provider to determine your policy’s benefits, including any co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurances due at the time of service. Should you have any questions, our Patient Financial Representatives and Billing Customer Service Team are available to help before and after your visit with us.

Download PDF

What is Provider Based?
You may have heard the terms “provider based” or “hospital-based outpatient.” This basically means that a clinic has become an outpatient department of UAB Hospital. It is common for outpatient clinics to be a part of the hospital. Most other academic medical centers are organized this way; in fact, several of our clinics already operate as hospital outpatient clinics, including our trauma clinic and infusion center.

Here are several resources that may help answer some of your questions about what this means to you, our patient.

Hospital-Based Outpatient Patient Brochure Download PDF
Hospital-Based Outpatient Frequently Asked Questions Download PDF
Hospital-Based Outpatient Frequently Asked Questions About Billing Download PDF

We are committed to helping you understand these changes and how they will impact you.

If you have additional questions please call our customer service representatives at 205-731-6055 or 1-866-610-6055 between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

They can assist you over the phone or if you prefer to discuss in person, they'll be happy to schedule an appointment with a patient financial counselor.