Frequently Asked Billing Questions
Sentara is here to help answer your billing questions. Please select a region to read frequently asked questions most applicable to you.
Why did I receive more than one bill?
A patient who receives services from any of the Sentara hospitals may receive more than one billing statement for those services. You will receive a hospital billing statement for the services that were rendered to you at the hospital as well as a separate bill for any radiology, cardiology, emergency room physician, anesthesia, laboratory, or other physician services.
When you receive a billing statement from a radiologist it is normally for the reading or interpretation of an x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc. A billing statement from a cardiologist is normally for reading or interpretation of an EEG, EKG, stress test, etc., and a billing statement from an emergency physician is normally for the physician’s examination, diagnosis and treatment of a patient while that patient was in the hospital/emergency department.
Additional billing statements (other than your hospital billing statement) will have the phone number of the specific billing office for questions regarding that statement. (Note: Services rendered by providers other than the hospital may not be covered by your insurance carrier. Check your policy for details.)
Why am I getting a bill when I have not been to the hospital?
You may receive a billing statement from the hospital even though you did not actually visit the hospital for services. This will happen if your doctor has performed lab work or a biopsy for you at his office but then sends the specimen to the hospital for analysis. You will receive a bill from your doctor for the lab work / biopsy procedure AND a bill from the hospital for the analysis of the lab work/biopsy.
Important Things to Know about Lab Work:
Your doctor should inform you that the lab work will be sent out for analysis. Your doctor should provide billing information to the hospital.
Your insurance carrier may have a designated lab facility, and will only pay for services at these facilities. Remember to check your policy.
If your insurance carrier does not cover these services, the balance will be your responsibility.
If you have more questions about whether or not service will be covered, contact your health insurance plan.
What is the hospital billing process?
The patient receives services at one of our hospitals:
- Sentara Albemarle Medical Center
- Sentara CarePlex Hospital
- Sentara Leigh Hospital
- Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
- Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
- Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
- Sentara Obici Hospital
- Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
- Sentara RMH Medical Center
- Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital
- Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center
The patient receives an initial statement in the mail that includes visit specific information (see below).
- Charges for treatment and/or testing (itemized statement available upon request)
- Insurance information, if applicable
- A contact number for the hospital
- Dates of treatment
Our patient accounting department begins the billing and collection processes based on insurance information provided at the time of registration.
You will receive from your insurance carrier a form entitled "Explanation of Benefits," indicating the portion of the bill that your insurance company has paid. Once the hospital processes the insurance payment, we will send you an updated bill showing the balance you still owe.
Patients may receive collection notices or statements from our internal and external collection sources. If a patient requires financial assistance, there are financial assistance programs available for those who meet eligibility requirements.
How can I pay my bill?
What if I can't pay my bill?
At Sentara, we provide quality care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. If you do not have health insurance, we may be able to help you with your bill. Sentara offers financial assistance programs to patients who qualify. These programs include charity, assistance with Medicaid eligibility and uninsured discounts. All assistance programs are based on family size, income and other resources.
Learn more about financial assistance.
Can I combine my accounts and make payment arrangements?
If a patient has multiple accounts with Sentara hospitals or Sentara Medical Group, it is possible to combine accounts for payment arrangements after any applicable insurance payments have been received. All accounts must have current balances and must not have been placed with a collection agency.
For more information, please contact us.
Can I set up a payment plan?
Sentara offers special payment arrangements for those patients who cannot make payment in full for self-pay balances owed on their account.
For more information, please call the number on your statement to speak with the Financial Counselor, or contact us.
How do I get a copy of my itemized Sentara Medical Group bill?
The statement received in the mail includes visit specific information such as charges for testing and treatment, date of treatment, payments or adjustment posted to the charges, insurance information, and a contact number for the Financial Counselor.
For more information about an itemized bill, the patient may contact Sentara Medical Group’s Customer Service Department at 757-983-9000 or send an inquiry by contacting Sentara MyChart.
Why did my insurance pay only part of the bill?
Sentara will bill your insurance if complete billing information was given at the time of registration. You will be sent a statement if your insurance carrier or HMO/PPO does not pay the bill promptly or if there is a balance remaining after the insurance or HMO/PPO payment. Please contact your insurance company for specific answers to your questions or to review your claim. The member services phone number for your insurance should be listed on your insurance card.
Will Sentara bill my insurance?
Sentara will submit the claim to participating insurance providers. Please provide your current insurance card at each visit. Insurance plans often change information, such as group numbers or PO box numbers. If these are not updated on our claim form, they will result in a claim denial.
Is Sentara able to verify if I am covered for my procedure?
No. Sentara does not know each patient’s insurance plan benefits. It is recommended all patients verify coverage for procedures, as able, prior to a visit.