Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of pre-registration and why must I go through the process each time if I am a repeat patient?

Pre-registration validates your patient information and identity to ensure patient safety. This is crucial for all patients including repeat patients. Pre-registration also serves as a means to verify insurance and estimate patient responsibility. It helps to expedite treatment and minimize the number of questions you will be asked the day of service. Some procedures require prior authorization (pre-cert). In addition, pre-registration reconfirms and reminds the patient of the appointment.

Why must I provide my social security number at registration?

Social security number verification is one required component in the identification process, which is such an important part of patient safety. There may be many individuals with the same name, but acquiring additional unique information ensures accuracy of medical records and delivery of safe and effective care. Name, date of birth and other personal information are also needed for accurate patient identification.

If I go through the pre-registration process on the telephone, why must I still go to registration the day of service?

Legal requirements dictate that consent forms must be signed to allow treatment. Patients are directed to registration to sign the consent forms and verify any additional information. It also gives the patient an opportunity to ask additional questions regarding treatment, insurance and billing. A copy of the physician order must be obtained from the patient or faxed to us from the physician’s office.

What is the billing process at Georgetown Hospital System?

Review the steps below for basic billing procedures. If you have any questions, please contact the Business Office.

Step 1 

The patient receives services at one of the Georgetown Hospital System’s hospitals.

  • Georgetown Memorial Hospital
  • Waccamaw Community Hospital

Step 2

Based on the insurance information provided at time of registration, Georgetown Hospital System’s Business Office begins the billing and collection processes and sends the statement electronically to the insurance provider.

Step 3 

The insurance company determines the payment amount, the patient’s responsibility and pays hospital accordingly. Hospital repeats the billing process with secondary insurance if applicable. Once insurance payment process is complete, hospital bills the patient.

Delays occur when the insurance company does not resolve the account balance in a timely manner. Georgetown Hospital System’s Business Office follows up with the insurance companies if they have not paid within 45 days. After 60 days, the patient will receive a bill and letter asking for their assistance in resolving the delay with the insurance company. Most frequently, the insurance company needs additional information from the patient before processing the claim. It is very important for a patient to respond promptly to any insurance inquiry.

Step 4 

Contact the Business Office to inquire about financial assistance or payment plan programs.

Additional information to assist with your bills:

How can I pay the balance of my bill?

Georgetown Hospital System offers several ways to pay with your bill. Payments may be made with cash or check. We also accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diner’s Club charge cards.

Where can I pay my bill?

Payments are accepted at Georgetown Memorial Hospital, Waccamaw Community Hospital or any Georgetown Hospital System facility.

What if I cannot pay my bill?

Contact the business office to inquire about financial assistance or payment plans.

Why is there so much time between the date of service and when the patient first receives a bill?

Your bill begins its journey through the payment system almost immediately after discharge or receiving services. Multiple steps must be accomplished before initiating a patient’s bill. Insurance providers first must evaluate each claim and issue payment before Georgetown Hospital System can provide an accurate bill showing patient amount due. Some other factors that may contribute to a delayed billing are longer length of stay than expected, seriousness of illness, or patient treatment. In general, most bills are issued to the primary insurance within 5-10 days once the primary insurance pays. The secondary insurance (if applicable) is billed within 1-2 days after receiving payment.

Why do I receive several bills as the result of one hospital encounter?

If you have certain tests or procedures during your hospital service, you will receive multiple bills. For instance, if you have surgery which requires pathology services, you will receive a bill for professional interpretation fees from the physician (pathologist) who evaluates the sample, as well as a bill from the hospital for technical services including OR time and other outpatient or inpatient services. You also will receive a bill from the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Likewise, radiology services (such as mammography) result in a bill from the radiologist for professional interpretation fees as well as a bill from the hospital for technical service fees.

What will I pay when I come to the emergency department?

Every person who seeks care in the emergency department receives a medical screening exam regardless of ability to pay. We will always conduct this medical screening before discussing payment. Once you have been medically evaluated, and it is determined that your condition is not a medical emergency,  you will then pay your co-payment, deductible or other financial obligation. If you are insured, the amount you pay will be determined by your insurance plan. If you are not insured, an initial co-payment deposit will be required. Our representatives can also speak with you about self-pay options and financial assistance programs.

Why has my bill been turned over to a collection agency?

Georgetown Memorial and Waccamaw Community hospitals utilize outside services to assist in contacting patients to resolve payment delays with the insurance or an outstanding balance. We recognize there are numerous circumstances that may prevent or delay balance resolution. Georgetown Hospital System’s extended Business Office is not a collection agency. However, old accounts may be released to collection agencies when our efforts fail to collect the balance on the account, which is a reasonable and acceptable business practices within the industry.

What is the best way to contact the Business Office?

By Phone: 

Georgetown Memorial Hospital and Waccamaw Community Hospital
  All Insurances 843.520.8880

By Mail:

Georgetown Hospital System
GMH & WCH Business Office
PO Box 421718
Georgetown, SC 29442

By Email:

Complete an Email Contact Us Form.

Does GHS offer discounts?

GHS does offer Prompt Pay Discounts to all patients who pay their bill in full within thirty days of notice of personal balance due after the insurance payment. Patients choosing self payment are also eligible for the discount. The Federal or State government does not permit discounts to any beneficiaries of their programs (such as Medicare).

What responsibilities do I have when dealing with my insurance company when they need other insurance information?

Insurance companies have specific requirements before processing claims and often contact you for coordination of your benefits. They may ask about other insurance you or other family members may have and need to verify your current information. They often send questionnaires to confirm any changes. Generally, they will not process your claim without your response to their inquiries. Therefore, it is important to respond to your insurance company’s questions in a timely manner. This will help move the billing process forward.

What health insurance plans does Georgetown Hospital System accept or file?

The plans differ by facility and change over time. Please check with the Business Office at either hospital to ensure accuracy.
Managed Care Providers for Georgetown Memorial Hospital and Waccamaw Community Hospital.

Why is certain insurance coverage accepted at one hospital, but not the other?

Georgetown Hospital System has negotiated contracts with numerous managed care providers; however, the lists differ between facilities. Most insurance plans are accepted at Georgetown Hospital System’s facilities, although there are some differences in the group of managed care providers with whom each hospital has agreements.

Why is my insurance accepted by the hospital, but not by some physicians?

Physicians and physician groups are typically not employees of Georgetown Hospital System. While some of them (radiologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists and some others) provide services ONLY to patients who receive those services inside a hospital, these physicians operate as independent business entities. Consequently, each physician group must negotiate an agreement with the individual insurance providers, as does the hospital. Those lists sometimes differ and change over time. Contact the Business Office directly at Georgetown Memorial Hospital 843.520.8176 or Waccamaw Community Hospital 843.652.1019 for the most current listing.

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