What you should know about paying for hospital services

St. Joseph’s/Candler understands that paying for medical services can be confusing. Knowing and understanding the cost of your care beforehand can help relieve some stress.

St. Joseph’s/Candler has begun a new process for elective procedure payments. An elective procedure or service is one that is beneficial to the patient but not considered urgent. These services may require payment of your portion prior to service being provided. Your payment is determined by your insurance provider based on the benefits you have elected. St. Joseph’s/Candler will do our best to provide you with an estimate prior to your visit.

Unfortunately, we are now unable to provide non-emergency services without securing some form of payment. Like most companies, we must have the resources available to run our facilities. Delay of payment can jeopardize the financial health of any health care facility; therefore, like any other service you receive, payment is expected at the time of your elective service. St. Joseph’s/Candler does not receive financial assistance from tax payers (the county, city, state or federal government) to support our operations.

The following are some commonly asked questions and answers that may be helpful to you regarding your hospital bill.

How does the payment process work?

For scheduled non-emergency service:

  1. We may contact you to verify your information and insurance before the service is provided.
  2. We will then create an estimate based upon the information your insurance company has made available to us. This may include your outstanding deductible, any co-payments due at the time of service and an estimate of what the service will cost you (your out-of-packet expenses).
  3. The estimate will be reviewed with you and what you will need to bring for payment on the day of service. Our financial counselors are available to discuss any questions you may have about the amount you may owe.

What happens if I do not have a scheduled appointment?

Unscheduled or “walk-in” services are handled the same way as a scheduled appointment but at the time of your service.  Estimates can generally be provided for many of our services as long as your insurance is up-to-date and can electronically tell us your deductible, co-pays, or out-of-pocket expenses due at the time of your services. The estimate will reflect the most accurate information we have available and give you a good idea of what your financial obligation will be.

Will I know my portion of the bill for the procedure or service?

Yes. You may receive an estimate during your pre-registration phone call or you may ask for an estimate of your procedure at the time of your service.

When is my payment due?

  1. Initial payments (co-payments, deductibles, co-insurance) are due at the time of service for elective and urgent services.
  2. You can receive a 5% discount IF you pay in full at time of service. For example, if your balance is $1,000, you can receive a $50 discount. Debit cards, credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express), checks, and money orders are accepted.

What if I come to the emergency room?

The top priority of St. Joseph's/Candler's Emergency Deaprtments is to care for you or your family member during an emergency situation. NO patient will be denied treatment due to their inability to pay. You will be assessed by our medical staff prior to any information being gathered about payment. We can provide you your co-payment information for emergency services so that you may make a payment at the end of your visit.

What are the benefits that come with making a payment for services at the time of my visit?

There are many benefits that come with making a payment for services at the time of your visit. These include:

  • You are eligible for a 5% discount if payment is made in full.
  • Knowing the cost of your medical treatment before you receive it can help you budget for services ahead of time as well as make more informed medical decisions about your health and wellness.
  • For urgent or emergent services, there are assistance options available if you cannot make a payment in full.  Learning the payment options available to you at or before the time of service relieves stress and worry when you need to focus on getting well.
  • Revenue and savings received by St. Joseph’s/Candler are reinvested in our community and services. That means new and better technology, additional services, patient safety initiatives as well as a top-notch medical staff. It ensures you and your family have the medical services you need when you need them at a level of excellence that you deserve.

What if I need help paying my bill?

We understand that deductibles, co-pays, and medical bills can be difficult to pay. If you require urgent or emergent services, we have financial counselors to assist you. A financial counselor is an individual with our health system who can help you navigate your bill and develop a plan for payment that best meets your needs. Financial counselors can be reached at 912-819-2434 or 912-819-8246.

It is normal to have questions about your bill, and it is important to us that you feel you have the information you need about how your cost is calculated. Please do not hesitate to use the expertise of our financial counselors. They can help you:

  • Determine if there are governmental assistance programs available to assist you in paying for your medical services.
  • Better understand your bill.
  • Understand what your insurance will cover and what it will not cover.
  • Understand the difference between your financial responsibility to the hospital and other co-pays, deductibles or bills you may be responsible for paying to your physician or other medical service providers such as radiologist, pathologist, or anesthesiologist.
  • Understand any discounts you may be eligible to receive.
  • Determine if you are eligible for financial assistance.

Still have questions?

If you need help filling out a financial assistance application or have any other questions, you can reach any of the following:


How can we help you?