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Billing FAQs

Get answers to common questions about bills.

You received a bill for one of these reasons:

  • You don’t have health insurance.
  • The service you received is not covered by your insurance.
  • You have a co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible that you did not pay at your visit. 
  • You did not get a required referral from your doctor.
  • You received care outside your provider network.
  • You used up your insurance benefits. (Some health insurance companies limit coverage.)

If you have HSN, (also called Free Care), we bill you if:

  • You have an HSN deductible.
  • You have private insurance, and HSN but did not pay your private insurance co-payment at your visit. (HSN does not cover private insurance co-payments).
  • You saw a doctor who does not accept HSN.

HSN is a state program that pays hospitals and health centers but not most doctors. The Mass General Physicians Organization, the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization, the North Shore Physicians Group, and Newton Wellesley Ambulatory Services:

  • Will not bill patients on Full HSN
  • Will reduce bills for patients on Partial HSN by 70%

 If your doctor is not a member of one of these groups, you may get a bill.

You may receive separate bills for services from the hospital and the doctor, such as bills from private practices affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital and Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

The hospital portion is for items, such as medical equipment, technology, medical supplies, lab tests, radiology, and hospital rooms.

The professional portion is for the time the caregiver spends during the visit treating you, reading test results, and coordinating care.

If you are not sure how your health insurance plan will process claims for your doctor’s site, contact us at patientbilling@partners.org or 617-726-3884 to ask what you’ll pay out of pocket. 

Some health insurance plans consider our health centers and physician practices to be hospital outpatient locations and not doctors’ offices. This may change how your health insurance pays for your care.

That means if you visit one of these sites, you may be charged for a hospital outpatient service, rather than a doctor visit. Your co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible may be different from what they would be for a doctor visit. 
 
Please read about billing at hospital outpatient locations.

Some visits also have charges for ancillary departments (e.g., Radiology, Pathology, Anesthesia, etc.); please check to see if your bill includes an ancillary charge.

If you still believe that you received a bill in error, please contact Billing Solutions:

Phone 
617-726-3884 
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm ET 

Email 
patientbilling@partners.org for general questions only; a representative will respond generally within three business days. 
(Please use www.patientgateway.org to view details of your account, send messages with confidential information, or pay your bills.)

Mailing Address 
Correspondence only (no checks) 
Mass General Brigham 
Patient Billing Solutions 
399 Revolution Drive, Suite 410 
Somerville, MA 02145-1462

Patients are billed as soon as possible after their provider’s appointment or hospital stay:

  • Typically, bills are not sent until all insurance claims have been processed.
  • Patients without insurance receive bills directly.
  • Bill cycles are every 30 days. 
  • Once a bill is received, patients are given 25 days to pay their bills in full; the due date will be noted on your bill.

Your insurance carrier will forward an explanation of benefits (EOB) for your review; the form explains the payment or denial reason for the services rendered.

When you are scheduled for your annual Preventive Health Exam, there is typically no co-payment.

However, sometimes, your annual Preventive Health Exam, Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, or Welcome to Medicare Visit can turn into a “Sick Visit.”

During your visit, your provider may need to treat a new medical issue or a chronic problem that has changed. If that occurs, this part of the visit is called a Sick Visit and may result in additional services being billed to your insurance.

Most insurance companies will pay for Sick Visit evaluations, tests, and treatments, but your insurance plan may require you to pay a co-payment, deductible, and/or co-insurance payment for the Sick Visit, even when it is done during the same appointment as your Preventive Health Exam. 

The office staff does not know at the time of check-in what services will be provided during your actual visit, as this is between you and your provider. We will send you a bill if there is any unpaid balance after we receive payment for your visit from your insurance company.

It is important that you understand your health insurance benefits, and we encourage you to contact your health insurance plan if you have any questions about what is included in your Preventive Health Exam.

Please read our page about billing for Preventive Health Exams.

Please contact Patient Billing Solutions, and we can update your address information.

Urgent Care services are available at multiple locations within Mass General Brigham. Some of those locations are not considered by health insurance plans to be Urgent Care Centers, and therefore, your co-payment benefits for urgent care services typically will not apply. Instead, your visit to these locations will likely be billed either as a physician office visit or a hospital outpatient visit.

The billing information below does not apply to Urgent Care services provided at centers named "Mass General Brigham Urgent Care" (formerly "Partners Urgent Care") located in Boston and surrounding communities. For visits to Mass General Brigham Urgent Care (formerly Partners Urgent Care), your urgent care insurance benefit typically will apply.

For physician office locations:

Urgent Care services are typically billed as a physician or nurse practitioner visit, and your out-of-pocket costs are usually limited to the co-payment required by your health insurance plan. We will request your co-payment when you check in for the visit.

For hospital outpatient locations:

Your out-of-pocket costs for the physician or nurse practitioner visit are usually limited to the co-payment required by your health insurance plan. We will request your co-payment when you check in for the visit. 
 
You will also be billed what is commonly known as a “facility fee” for use of the hospital space, equipment, and support staff.

Your health insurance plan may apply these hospital fees to your annual deductible, and after you have paid your deductible in full, you may be billed for a co-insurance payment.

We will send you a bill if there is any unpaid balance after we receive payment for your visit from your health insurance plan.

Please read more information about urgent care billing, and find out which urgent care centers are considered physician office urgent locations and which are considered hospital outpatient locations.

There are a few payment options.

  1. Pay your bill online at www.patientgateway.org or pay as guest.
  2. Call 617-726-3884 and press 1 to pay your bill by phone
  3. Send a check or money order to Mass General Brigham to the following mailing address:

                Mass General Brigham 
                P.O. Box 418393 
                Boston, MA 02241-8393

Yes, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and electronic checks.

Visit www.patientgateway.org to pay your bill online.

Please call Billing Solutions at 617-726-3884 to process your credit card via the telephone.

Visit our Financial Assistance page to learn more about discounts available to our patients and how to create a payment plan. You can also speak with a patient financial counselor. 

We offer several programs for patients who are under-insured or who do not have insurance coverage.

If you live in Massachusetts, you may be able to get health insurance or help paying your health care bills through a state program like MassHealth, the Health Connector, or Health Safety Net.

You can also speak with a patient financial counselor. You can also contact Patient Billing Solutions with questions about what to do if you do not have insurance.

Please contact Patient Billing Solutions, and we can update your insurance information.

If we have all of your insurance information, we will bill your secondary insurance on your behalf.

If you updated your insurance information with Patient Billing Solutions, we will re-submit your bill to your updated insurance company to request payment.

To find the contact information for your provider, including address and telephone number, please refer to our Find a Doctor search tool.