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LMHS hopes website will help patients understand hospital bills

By Staff | May 11, 2011

Lee Memorial Health System launched a new website for its patients last month that will help them understand their hospital bills.
Anne Rose, vice president of Revenue Cycle for Lee Memorial Health System, said part of the website has always been devoted to patient billing. She said they have taken the billing portion off the site and enhance it with added information that she believes will better assist the patients.
“There has been a lot of information out there about billing,” Rose said, “but we had talked to patient focus groups that we convened and customer service representatives to find out what patients are really looking for.”
The feedback she received is what they tried adding into the new website.
One of the enhancements consists of a new domain name, www.MyLeeBill.org, which allows patients to go directly to the billing pages of the Lee Memorial Health System website, instead of navigating it through the home screen.
The website will also provide the patient and a Lee Memorial Health System employee with the opportunity to see the same thing when discussing a bill.
“We can walk them through certain things and they can see the same thing we are talking about,” Rose said. She said it is a nice feature to have because sometimes when patients call in they cannot always see what they are looking at on their bill.
Some of the other features include animations that will help a patient understand the breakdown of their bill under “Understanding Your Patient Bill,” along with a sample bill that provides explanations for each section.
“Get Personalized Help” is another feature added to the website to help patients schedule an appointment with a financial representative to seek further assistance with their bill. A form can be filled out online to set up an appointment, or by calling 239-242-6000, option one.
Other additions to the website include insurance information and what a patient can do if their provider declines to cover the cost of a procedure, along with sample appeal letters they can send to their insurance company. A frequently asked questions section was also added to the website.
There are additional enhancements Rose would like to include to the new patient-friendly billing site in the future.
“This is phase one because I know there are more enhancements that we want to undertake,” she said about the website.
Some of those enhancements include patients having the ability to look at their itemized bill online in a secure environment, along with having the option of receiving their statements electronically instead of via mail.
Rose said receiving statements electronically would be the patients’ choice because they would have to elect to receive it that way.
Although it is still a little to early to tell if patients enjoy the website, since it went live on April 25, Rose said it has been favorable for sure.
“I hope it gives them relief if they have concerns about their bills … a place to go to get answers,” Rose said about the website. “We are very excited to have it up.”