When you receive emergency care or treatment by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from surprise billing or balance billing.
What is “balance billing” (sometimes called “surprise billing”)?
When you see a doctor or other health care provider, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, such as a copayment, coinsurance, and/or a deductible. You may have other costs or have to pay the entire bill if you see a provider or visit a health care facility that isn’t in your health plan’s network.
“Out-of-network” describes providers and facilities that haven’t signed a contract with your health plan. Out-of-network providers may be permitted to bill you for the difference between what your plan agreed to pay and the full amount charged for a service. This is called “balance billing.” This amount is likely more than in-network costs for the same service and might not count toward your annual out-of-pocket limit.
“Surprise billing” is an unexpected balance bill. This can happen when you can’t control who is involved in your care—like when you have an emergency or when you schedule a visit at an in-network facility but are unexpectedly treated by an out-of-network provider.
You are protected from balance billing for:
If you have an emergency medical condition and get emergency services from an out-of-network provider or facility, the most the provider or facility may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount (such as copayments and coinsurance). You can’t be balance billed for these emergency services. This includes services you may get after you’re in stable condition, unless you give written consent and give up your protections not to be balanced billed for these post-stabilization services.
Certain services at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center
When you receive services from an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, certain providers there may be out-of-network. In these cases, the most those providers may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount. This applies to emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. These providers can’t balance bill you and may not ask you to give up your protections not to be balance billed.
If you receive other services at these in-network facilities, out-of-network providers can’t balance bill you, unless you give written consent and give up your protections.
You’re never required to give up your protections from balance billing. You also aren’t required to receive care out-of-network. You can choose a provider or facility in your plan’s network.
When balance billing isn’t allowed, you also have the following protections:
- You are only responsible for paying your share of the cost (like the co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles that you would pay if the provider or facility was in-network). Your health plan will pay out-of-network providers and facilities directly.
- Your health plan generally must:
- Cover emergency services without requiring you to get approval for services in advance (prior authorization).
- Cover emergency services by out-of-network providers.
- Base what you owe the provider or facility (cost-sharing) on what it would pay an in-network provider or facility and show that amount in your explanation of benefits.
- Count any amount you pay for emergency
If you believe you’ve been wrongly billed, you may contact customer service at903-577-6034.
Visit https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises for more information about your rights under federal law.
Your privacy is very important to us and we protect your medical record information in strict accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). You may obtain copies of your medical records or authorize others to receive copies of your medical record information. Prior to release of medical records, we must receive a written request from the requester and a signed authorization from the patient.
The authorization of release information must include the following:
- Drafted to Titus Regional Medical Center
- Name of patient at time of treatment
- Patient date of birth
- Patient social security number
- Specific dates of treatment
- Information requested (history and physical, discharge summary, x-ray film, etc.)
- Purpose of the information being requested
- Name and address of person(s) to receive the information
- Expiration date of the request (unless revoked or stated otherwise, authorization expires in 180 days)
- Signature of the patient, parent if a minor or legal authorized representative
For further information, you may contact the Health Information Management Department at 903.577.6137 or our Privacy Officer at 903.577.6133
Medical Records Fees
In accordance with Texas State Health and Safety Code, Chapter 241 154(e), we charge the following fees for the retrieval and copy process of medical records:
Copies of paper records:
1st 10 pages: $35.00
Pages 11-60: $1.00 per page
Pages 61-400: $0.50 per page
Pages 401+: $0.25 per page
(Plus actual cost of mailing and shipping)
Copies of records stored in microfilm or other electronic medium:
1st 10 pages: $50.00
Pages 11+: $1.00 per page
(Plus actual cost of mailing and shipping)
Patients presenting in person with valid identification and authorization may receive an accounting of disclosure (a list of who has received your medical record information), and the first six pages of records or x-ray films FREE one time per calendar year. Please call in advance so that we may coordinate a pick-up date and time to better serve you.