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Understanding Your Bill

Terms on your bill

We strive to make your bill as simple as possible. Healthcare billing is complicated and may seem to use a language all its own. Below are some key terms you may see on your bill and what them mean.

Account number: A unique number that identifies your account

Service date: The date you received a particular service

Description: Briefly describes the services you received

Charges: The complete cost of services before taking insurance coverage into account

Billed charges: Total amount billed to you or your insurance provider

Adjustment: A portion of your bill that your provider has agreed to write off

Insurance payments: Amount your insurance company has already paid

Patient payments: The amount that you (the patient) are responsible for paying

Balance/amount due: Total amount currently owed to the healthcare provider

Payable to: The organization to whom you should address mailed payments

Types of bills

You may receive more than one bill from Vanderbilt, depending on the services you received, where you received your care, and the providers involved in your care.

Physician/provider services (sometimes called "professional fees")

Bills for Vanderbilt Medical Group physician services cover things like:

  • physical examinations
  • interpretation of tests
  • surgical procedures
  • consultations by physicians and sometimes nurse practitioners and physician assistants

Physician services also include, but are not limited to, the services of anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, podiatrists, radiologists, and pathologists. These services may be provided in clinics or in the hospital but will be billed by the physician group.

Bills for hospital/clinic services (sometimes called "facilities fees")

Hospital-based clinics 

For clinics under the management of Vanderbilt Health, you may see a charge on your bill for the equipment, supplies, and services provided in the "hospital‐based clinic."

These charges are separate from the services provided by your physician/provider. Any amount you owe will be based your specific insurance plan. Please contact your insurance company for information about your plan's coverage and what you owe. 

Hospital bills

If you have a hospital stay, your hospital bill may include:

  • Laboratory
  • Radiology and other testing services (sometimes called ancillary services)
  • Operating room services
  • Emergency department costs
  • Pharmacy services
  • Medical supplies
  • Inpatient room and board
  • Other services provided by the hospital

You may receive a bill each time you visit the hospital. Please note that your hospital bill does not include charges for physician/provider services.

Other types of bills

Community‐based physician bills

If you receive care at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, you may receive separate bills from certain community‐based physician groups that provide professional services and bill separately from Vanderbilt Health. Please contact these physician groups separately with any questions.

Itemized statements for attorneys

If services billed on your account are the result of an automobile accident or other accident caused by someone else, you can request that itemized statements be sent to any attorney involved in the matter.

However, you will remain responsible for making payment on the account until the dispute is settled. We will follow all regulations related to accident coverage for patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid.