Understanding Your Bill

The hospital billing process may seem complicated, but you can feel more in control by knowing exactly what your bill covers. For example, if you stay overnight, you can expect to see charges for your room, meals, 24-hour nursing care and medicines. The bill will also show charges for any special services, such as X-rays and lab tests. You’ll receive bills for doctors, surgeons and specialists separately from the hospital.


If you have Medicare, you’ll have to fill out an MSP (Medicare secondary payer) form. This ensures that Medicare only pays for services not covered by other insurance you may have. If you have secondary insurance, this usually covers Medicare deductibles. If you don’t have secondary insurance, you need to pay these amounts yourself.

Also be sure to read your quarterly MSNs (Medicare summary notices) to review:

  • the amount your doctor(s) charged
  • the amount Medicare approved and paid
  • the amount you owe
  • your current deductible status

If you have questions, call the customer service number listed on your statement.

Guide to Observation Care

Although outpatient observation stays are now commonplace in hospitals, you may be unfamiliar with what it actually means to you, the patient. Observation services are hospital outpatient services that a physician orders to allow for testing and medical evaluation of your condition. While under observation care, your room may be located anywhere in our hospital. However, the quality of care is exactly the same regardless if you are an observation patient or inpatient admission. Within the first 48 hours of your stay, the physician will decide whether you require an inpatient stay, or may be discharged home for care in another setting. Since observation stays are billed as an outpatient service, your insurance co-pays and deductibles billing, along with any additional costs, will most likely be based on the outpatient terms of your policies. Your out-of-pocket costs may change depending on whether your stay is designated as observation or full inpatient admission. Therefore, any costs from a nursing home following an observation stay or any inpatient hospital stay less than three days are the responsibility of the patient and will not be covered by Medicare as a Part B service. If you have specific questions about observation care or your hospital bill, please call our Patient Accounting customer service representatives at 732-324-5059.

Commercial Insurance Providers

If you use a commercial insurance provider, then the hospital forwards your claim based on the information you provide at registration. About a month after you leave the hospital, you’ll get an explanation of benefits (EOB) statement from your insurance provider. This isn’t a bill. EOBs show:

  • the amount billed by your doctor or hospital
  • how much of that cost is covered by your insurance
  • how much you owe

Review this and all other bill-related documents carefully. If you have questions, contact your doctor or the customer service number listed on the statement.

Self-Pay Patients and Payment Arrangements

If you’re planning to pay your bills without help from Medicare or a commercial insurance provider, then you’ll get bills directly from the hospital. When the first bill arrives, call the hospital’s financial services department to set up a payment plan. Communicate with the financial services department as soon as possible. If you don’t set up a payment plan, or if you stop making payments, then your account may be placed with a collection agency. The hospital wants to work with you, so reach out with any questions or concerns you have.

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