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Billing & Insurance

Assistance for People In Need

Howard County General Hospital provides necessary emergency medical care to all persons regardless of their ability to pay. We will consider financial assistance for those patients who cannot pay the total cost of hospitalization due to the lack of insurance coverage and/or inability to pay. Please discuss any financial concerns you may have with your financial counselor. If you are not able to pay your account in full, we can help you with a payment plan. Visit the Johns Hopkins Financial Assistance page for more information.

If you do not have insurance, our financial counselors will schedule an interview with you to determine payment arrangements and/or assist you in completing a Financial Assistance application (below). For additional information, please call 410-740-7675.

Financial Assistance

You may qualify under our Financial Assistance policy. Visit the Johns Hopkins Financial Assistance Policies page for more information.

Discounted Rates

Patients who make full payment of their hospital bill at discharge will receive a two-percent discount. There is a one-percent discount for full payment within 30 days of discharge. Discounts do not apply to telephone and television services.

Financial Responsibilities

It is important for you to discuss your estimated length of stay, and anticipated tests and services with your physician prior to your admission to Howard County General Hospital. Many insurance carriers have coverage limitations on room charges and certain tests, services and procedures. Once we receive your insurance information, financial counselors in our Admitting Department will verify your benefits. If your insurance will not fully cover your estimated charges, including deductibles and co-payments, you may be asked to bring an advance deposit at the time of your pre-admission testing or admission to the hospital. The hospital welcomes MasterCard, VISA and American Express. The Patient Accounting department will file your insurance claim with your insurance carrier. View information regarding charges.

Liability Insurance

In cases involving liability insurance, the hospital must look to the patient for payment regardless of the circumstances. The insurance company's settlement will be made directly with you and not with the hospital. Only when the patient is injured on the job, and our financial counselors can verify insurance carrier coverage of hospital charges, will the carrier be billed directly.

Observation Status

Medicare, the federal government and other government and commercial insurers, require your medical team and hospital to determine the correct billing status for your hospital stay based on your illness, the expected monitoring and treatment that will be provided, and your expected length of stay. Your hospitalization will be classified as either an “outpatient observation” or “inpatient admission,” which is determined by federal rules, regulations and clinical protocols.

An “outpatient observation” stay for Medicare patients is billed under Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient services. Based on the terms of your insurance policies, you may be responsible for co-pays and deductibles along with any additional costs. Ask Medicare or your insurance company about your financial obligations.

To be admitted as an inpatient, a patient’s condition must meet certain criteria:

  1. The condition/illness must meet a certain level of seriousness.
  2. The treatment rendered must meet a certain level of intensity.
  3. There must be an assumption that you will need to be in the hospital for two midnights or more.

For more detailed information, please download our Observation Status brochure.

Physician Fees

You should be aware that your hospital bill does not include physician fees. You will receive separate billing statements from each physician who provides a service to you during your hospital stay. Physicians that may participate in your care include your attending physician, consulting specialists, an anesthesiologist, emergency room physician, pathologist, radiologist or neonatologist.

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