It is not enough to ask your doctor if he or she is in your network. You must ask if the hospital is in-network; not just if the insurance is accepted.
Texas General Hospital, like many others, believes that a patient should be able to receive medical care based on a personal decision and their doctor's advice. As an "out of network" provider, Texas General Hospital gives patients a choice to receive care at our facility even if the patient's insurance company does not contract with our facility.
As a result of providing this choice to patients, Texas General Hospital is required to follow certain federal and state laws and regulations regarding the creation and issuance of a bill for any care. When a patient is covered by insurance, we generate and provide an invoice for the care received to both the insurance company and the patient, simultaneously. Regardless of the amount of the bill, we always seek payment from the insurance company first. We then work with the patient to help them understand the bill and answer questions about any remaining balance, if the patient is able to pay. At no time does the ability to pay impede our delivery of care. Moreover, we are proud to say that we have never found it necessary to refer a patient's bill to a collection agency or credit bureau.
We are always available to discuss a patient's bill. Consequently, we are reaching out directly to these patients to discuss their specific situations.
As you know, federal and state privacy laws prohibit Texas General Hospital from discussing any patient's bill. Without the ability to comment on patient's bills, we hope that in pursuit of fair and balanced journalism, FOX 4 reports the out-of-pocket amount actually paid by each patient made the subject of this news story.