Billing Policies

ABHC Credit/Debit Card & Authorization Form

Frequently Asked Questions about Insurance Billing at ABHC

Billing in all of health care is confusing, involving co-pays, co-insurance, usual and customary charges, prior authorizations, allowables and deductibles, as well as other factors. Due to these issues, we find that patients end up with unexpectedly large balances, despite our attempts to collect as much as possible up front. It also increases our costs when there are large amounts of unpaid balances. We are changing our procedures to reduce these unexpected bills, ease the payment process and reduce the amount of money outstanding that is owed us.

Put simply, going forward we will expect our patients (or guarantor) to provide us with a current credit or debit card number that will be stored on with a highly secure third party company that specializes in this area. We will use this card to bill outstanding charges automatically, up to a limit you establish with our team. You can also use this system to more easily pay your copays. Once in the system, our staff will be able to see no more than the four numbers of the card.

Please don’t hesitate to call with any and all billing questions: 206-431-0138.

Explanation of Our No-Show and Late Cancellation Fees

We want you to understand why we charge these fees.

As in other areas of medicine, our costs are based on the amount of time a clinician spends with a patient.

The billing is based on time spent either directly or indirectly. This is especially true with therapists, but also with the medical staff with whom you primarily are discussing medications. When you set up an appointment with a clinician, you are reserving that time, and in the process guaranteeing that you will be present during that time. You are effectively guaranteeing that either you or your insurance company will pay for that reserved time.

We are unable to bill your insurance if you miss an appointment, because they only pay services actually received. As we cannot make up that cost through insurance, we are forced to make it up directly from our patients. (For those of you who are more business minded, behavioral health is a low-margin business, so there is no excess profit to make up this difference.) So if you miss an appointment we must charge for the time you have reserved.

A same-day cancellation is treated the same as a missed appointment. This is because we are unlikely to be able to fill that slot with another appointment.

With 48 hours’ notice, we have a real opportunity to fill the time, so we only charge half of the usual missed appointment fee.

There are always reasonable excuses, and we tend to forgive fees if we can verify these reasons, but one reason that we tend not to accept is traffic. As traffic in the Seattle area may be unpredictable, it is your responsibility to plan ahead.

Please know that in all situations, if we are able to schedule another patient into your missed time slot, we will waive the fee. So, regardless of when you are aware that you will miss your scheduled appointment, it’s a great idea to let us know!

Please don’t hesitate to call with any and all billing questions: 206-431-0138.