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Billing and Insurance

Making Sense of Your Hospital Bills

Scam Alert – Possible Phony Collections Agencies Working Western Washington

Aug. 2016: Scam Alert – Possible Phony Collections Agencies Working Western Washington

It has come to our attention that some patients are being harassed by persons claiming to be with law firms or collection agencies seeking payment of debt associated with area hospitals. Some are falsely claiming to represent MultiCare hospitals.

Because these callers provide no detail as to their claims, MultiCare has had difficulty specifically validating whether or not the caller is legitimate. However, the following companies have NO business relationship with MultiCare Health System:

  • CNA Collections
  • Coastline
  • DFI
  • Garrison Acquisition Group
  • HUD
  • Lee & Associates
  • NAG
  • Novello
  • Robert and Associates

You should not make any payment unless you know for certain that you owe the debt. If legitimate, the caller will provide you with all necessary details concerning any debt you might owe. Ask the caller to send you proof of the debt, in writing, to the address the caller has. (Do not give out your address or other personal details.)

If the caller claims you owe money that dates from more than six years ago (i.e. earlier than September, 2010) and you have not been making regular payments toward that debt, it is highly unlikely that the call is legitimate.

You may want to report the call to the following agencies:

Washington State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or call 800-551-4636 or 206-464-6684.

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions or call 877-746-4334

After you receive care in one of our hospitals or clinics, you may receive more than one bill for your care:

  • Your MultiCare bill. This will include any hospital stays, clinic visits, and other MultiCare outpatient services, such as X-rays, lab tests and therapies. This bill will have MultiCare's name on it, and will include charges for doctors and other providers who are employed by MultiCare and assisted in your care. Typically we will submit a payment claim to your medical insurance company before we send you a bill.
  • A bill or bills for other doctors who were part of your care team. Not all health care professionals who treat patients at our hospitals work for MultiCare, such as many anesthesiologists, radiologists, surgeons and emergency department doctors. Your MultiCare bill does not include charges for services provided by doctors who do not work for us.

Hospital-Based Clinics

Hospital Based Facility Poster A number of our clinics and other facilities where you receive care are classified as hospital-based clinics. Patients may incur additional out-of-pocket expenses at a hospital-based clinic, because a clinical service at a hospital-based clinic may be billed as an outpatient hospital service — in addition to the bill for the professional service (ie, the bill from your doctor).

MultiCare has taken steps to help patients know if they are getting care in a hospital-based clinic, by displaying this poster in any location designated as a hospital-based clinic. You may also call the clinic before your visit to find out if they are a hospital-based clinic.

How to Pay Your Bill

You have several options for paying your MultiCare bill:

  • Online through MyChart, our secure patient records portal. You may use your credit card to pay bills through MyChart, as well as request paperless billing options. If you are not a current MyChart user, your bill will include an access code allowing you to easily sign up for an account. Go to MyChart now.
  • Over the phone by calling 253-459-7956, or toll-free at 800-919-1936. We are available Monday - Friday, 7:30am to 5pm to take your payment by phone or set up payment arrangements. We can also update your insurance coverage and assist with all other billing questions.
  • In person, by visiting our Billing Office, located at 737 Fawcett Ave., Tacoma. We are available to accept bill payments Monday – Friday, 8am to 4:30pm.
  • Through the mail, using the envelope included with your paper bill.

If you have more than one outstanding bill with MultiCare, you may request to apply your payment to a specific “Visit” when making payments in person, over the phone or via MyChart.

If you have questions about how to read your bill, please visit our How to Read Your Statement guide.

Medical Insurance

You may review a list of the medical insurance plans MultiCare currently accepts on our Accepted Insurance Plans page.

It's always a good idea to double check with your insurance company for specific information about your plan, the coverage it provides and your choice of doctors, hospitals and other health care services before receiving care.

It's also important to note that some doctors and other providers not employed by MultiCare may not accept the same insurance plans that we accept. If you have questions about physician charges, please contact the physician's office directly, using the contact information included on any bills you receive from them.

If you do not have insurance to pay for your hospital care, you must make payment arrangements before you receive medical care.

We're Here to Help

At MultiCare, we're committed to serving all patients, including those who lack health insurance coverage and who cannot pay for all or part of the essential care they receive.

If you need medical care, but don’t think you can afford it, please visit our Financial Assistance page to learn how our financial assistance may be able to ease your financial burden.

  • If you need help filing for state assistance, call 253-403-7333
  • If you feel you may qualify for financial assistance, call 253-459-8247

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to eligible patients. Eligibility is based, among other factors, upon family income and number of family members in the household.

If you think you may be eligible for financial assistance, please call 253-459-8247.

Our Financial Assistance Application and Proof of Income instruction sheet are available to download in several languages.

Online Bill Pay

You can now make payments online through MyChart, our secure patient records portal.

Go to MyChart now

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