Patient Billing Services

Billing Information for Patients

Insurance

Columbia University Pathologists will submit insurance claims for all pathology services, including tests offered by the Laboratory of Personalized Genomic Medicine. Patients are responsible for all copayments, coinsurances, deductibles, and non-covered services as indicated by their insurance plan.

View our current list of participating health insurance plans.

If you have any questions regarding billing, insurance participation, or patient responsibility, a Columbia University representative is available to answer your questions Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET at 646-317-7111 or by email at PathBilling@cumc.columbia.edu.

Self Pay

If you do not have insurance, or wish to pay for services independently, a Columbia University Pathologists’ representative is available to discuss payment options Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET at 646-317-7111 or by email at PathBilling@cumc.columbia.edu.

Billing Information for Clinicians

Insurance

Columbia University Pathologists will submit insurance claims for all pathology services, including tests offered by the Laboratory of Personalized Genomic Medicine. Patients are responsible for all copayments, coinsurances, deductibles, and non-covered services as indicated by their insurance plan.

View our current list of participating health insurance plans.

Most insurance plans require pre-authorization for genetic and molecular testing. Columbia’s Laboratory of Personalized Genomic Medicine will obtain authorization on behalf of the patient. Please note medical documentation and/or a letter of Medical Necessity may also be requested by the insurance plan. Our pre-authorization team will reach out to the referring provider to obtain any necessary documentations or letters. If your patient has Medicare coverage, please have them sign the Medicare Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) form and submit the ABN along with the requisition form and specimen.

Billing Explained

An EOB is a document sent by insurance companies that explains how a claim was processed. Generally, it indicates what was paid and/or what was denied. Most insurance companies use their own format for EOBs. The following table lists some common language and information found on EOBs.

Term Description
Account Number A number assigned to each bill by the provider of services; Columbia University Pathologists uses the term “Invoice#.”
Amount Paid The portion of the total bill that has been paid by the insurance company.
Allowed Charges The amount the insurance company approved for processing.
Capitation
Accounts
These are clients (HMOs, IPAs, physicians, etc.) who generally pay a fixed rate based on a number of members per month and/or volume of tests. Capitated clients usually provide services for HMOs.
Claim Number The number assigned by an insurance company to a particular patient’s bill; this number is often provided on the insurance company’s response to Columbia University Pathologists.
Coinsurance The portion of the allowed charges (usually a certain percentage) that is the patient’s responsibility.
Contract Charges The portion of the total bill that is NOT owed to Columbia University Pathologists (by the insurance company and/or the patient); this amount is based on the contractual agreement between the insurance company and Columbia University Pathologists.
Coordination
of Benefits
Indicates the amount owed by another insurance company when the patient has additional insurance coverage.
Copay The amount required to be paid by the patient.
Date of Service The date on which the laboratory testing was performed.
Deductible A specific annual dollar amount that must be paid by the patient before the patient’s insurance will begin reimbursing for covered services.
Excess over UCR The portion of the total charges that is greater than the allowed charges; this amount is based on the contractual agreement between the insurance company and Columbia University Pathologists. “UCR” stands for usual, customary and reasonable.
Explanation
of Payment
The section of an EOB that details how payments were made and explains any payment codes used.
IPA Independent Practice Association
Non–covered A specific service that is excluded from a contract and is considered non–payable by an insurance company. The patient may be responsible for this amount.
Patient Information Various information including patient name, patient Id number, responsible party, subscriber, insured’s name, employee’s group number.
Patient
Responsibility
Amount patient owes provider (Columbia University Pathologists). This includes “not covered” amounts, “deductible amounts,” and any percentage of balance, if payment is less than 100%. Note: Although copays are not a part of this calculation, they are also the patient’s responsibility.
Provider
Information
Payee (Columbia University Pathologist’s) name and mailing address. Additionally, may include account number on the claim, provider number and the name of the provider.
Service Code A code representing the service provided.
Submitted Charges The amount Columbia University Pathologists billed for service provided.
Units The number of items included in this service.
UCR Stands for usual, customary and reasonable and refers to fees for services.