Online Bill Paying Makes it Easy to Pay Medical Bills

If paying bills tops your least of least favorite activities, Shore Health System now has an online bill paying system that makes it easier to pay for healthcare services.

“Most healthcare billing systems are designed to satisfy the physicians, the insurance providers, and state and federal regulators,” says Christine Fontaine, director of Patient Financial Services for Shore Health System. “Medical bills are complex and often confusing, and medical billing systems are not always designed to be patient friendly.”

For example, one procedure, such as outpatient surgery, may generate several bills – one from the surgeon and others for related services, such as X-rays, lab tests, anesthesia and medications. Fontaine adds, “Unlike a credit card statement or a car payment voucher that looks the same every month and that uses your unique account number for all transactions, a medical bill contains many different codes and abbreviations that are foreign to most people unfamiliar with the healthcare system.”

Fontaine continues, “Shore Health System implemented online bill paying as a first step toward developing a patient friendly billing process. Now, when you receive a bill, you can go to www.shorehealth.org. On the front page, you click on ‘Pay Your Bill.’ You will be taken to a payment form that is easy to complete.”

The Shore Health System online bill pay system is secure. “The system we use is safe; no one has access to your health information or your financial information,” Fontaine explains.

Paying online can be done by using Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discovery credit cards. PayPal is an option to pay by cash or check. For people who do not have access to the internet or prefer to pay by phone, Shore Health System also offers a telephone automated bill paying system. The toll-free phone number to call is printed on each bill.

“There are several advantages to paying your bill online or by phone,” Fontaine says. “The most important is that your account gets credited almost immediately. When you pay by mail, it takes several days for us to receive the payment. Then it may take another day or two for your check to clear the bank. By comparison, we get daily reports of bills that have been paid online. This information helps avoid the frustration of having your check cross in the mail with another request from us for the same payment.”

With online bill paying in place, Fontaine says, “Shore Health System continues to explore other enhancements that will create a more positive experience for the patient.”

To use the Shore Health System online bill pay option, visit www.shorehealth.org. Assistance is available by calling 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 1020 or my emailing shsbilling@shorehealth.org.

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