Understanding your bill

Our Customer Service team answer the most frequently asked questions around billing and payments.

Frequently asked questions

I’ve received a bill from you, but my consultant has also billed me for the same procedure?

For most procedures performed in outpatients, or a consultation room, it is normal to receive an invoice from both Spire Healthcare and your consultant.

Your consultant will charge for their professional fees, covering their time and expertise to perform the procedure, usually alongside a separate consultation fee. These fees should be paid to your consultant, or their representative, directly.

Spire Healthcare will charge for the cost of the procedure itself, covering the use of equipment, facilities and consumables. These fees are separate to those charged by your consultant and should be paid to Spire Healthcare.

I’ve received a bill for medication taken home from the hospital – or an item such as crutches or a physiotherapy support – but my insurer should cover this.

The contracts that we have with your insurer that allow us to bill them on your behalf prevent us from billing take home items such as medications or crutches directly to them, in almost every case they will not cover these items. Consequently, all such items are billable to yourself.

This does not mean your insurer will refuse to assess these items for you, so you may be able to reclaim the cost against your policy. We recommend that you confirm this with your insurer and, in the event that your insurer will assess the charge, we can provide you with a receipted invoice upon payment to allow you to seek reimbursement.

I have an NHS exemption certificate for prescriptions. Can I use this for medication issued privately?

No. NHS prescription certificates only apply to NHS issued prescriptions. The prescriptions issued by Spire Healthcare are private prescriptions, and so are not covered by an NHS certificate.

I’ve been sent a self-funding bill, but this should be billed to my insurer.

In most cases, we can rebill a charge to your insurer for you. Please contact our Customer Services team and we can get the charge redirected for you. We will need some information to complete this – namely which insurer you are covered by, your policy or membership number and a claim or authorisation code. If you don’t know this information then your insurer should be able to supply them to you.

You can reach our team on 0118 975 4118 or at hsc@spirehealthcare.com

Please note that there are certain items, including but not limited to take home medications and physiotherapy aids, which we are contractually unable to bill to your insurer directly. In these instances we will ask you to make payment to Spire Healthcare and reclaim any eligible costs from your insurer.

I’ve received a letter from my insurer saying I need to make a payment to you, but I don’t have my patient ID and case number.

It’s quite normal for your insurer to contact you before they advise Spire Healthcare of a charge being due from yourself. All you need do is to wait to be contacted from Spire Healthcare directly, which will confirm how you can make payment of your account.

Billing FAQs

To make a down payment towards an upcoming appointment then just give the hospital you are due to attend a call. You can find contact details for each hospital site here.

Once you have attended your appointment, and received a request for payment from us, you can either pay online via our payment portal or over the phone to our Customer Services team on 0118 975 4118.

If you would like to pay by bank transfer then please give our team a call.

Whilst payment for inpatient and day case appointments are often taken in advance of treatment it is more usual for outpatient costs to be collected after treatment.

When you attend the hospital we will take a swipe of your card details which is applied to your patient account. Once your invoice has been created we will write to you to confirm when payment will be collected.

If you are uncertain we would advise that you check with your card provider or give our Customer Services team a call on 0118 975 4118 or email us at hsc@spirehealthcare.com

When your card information is taken at the hospital it is added to your account with Spire Healthcare before your treatment takes place.

After your appointment an invoice will then be raised and we will then write to you advising when payment is due to be collected from your card. If you are in agreement with the payment being requested you will not need to do anything further and the payment will be processed automatically.

If our correspondence does not advise when payment is due to be collected then you can either complete payment online or you can call our Customer Services team on 0118 975 4118 who can ensure payment is collected correctly.

To update the card details we hold on file, please call our Customer Services team on 0118 975 4118.

To make a one-off payment using a different card, you can also use our online portal. Card details entered through the portal will not be retained on your account with Spire Healthcare.

Card information provided to us is kept for six months following the last treatment. After which point, if you have not attended the hospital again, your card details will be removed from our records.

If making payment via our online portal you will receive an email confirming the funds have been received.

If you require a full page receipt, or receipted invoice, then please contact our Customer Services team on 0118 975 4118 or at hsc@spirehealthcare.com who can arrange this for you.

Insurance companies and insured patient contributors

When a charge has been submitted to your insurer but a shortfall has meant you have a balance to pay, your insurer will usually contact you to confirm the level of contribution you will need to make and the reasoning for their assessment.

Once Spire Healthcare has been made aware of the shortfall we will write to you and our correspondence will confirm we had attempted to submit the balance to your insurers, but have been advised you have a contribution to make. The breakdown of the charges you receive from us will also state “Insurer advised patient liability” along with the balance that has not been covered by your policy.

If you are ever unsure we recommend you call your insurer to confirm what they have assessed or speak to our Customer Services team on 0118 975 4118 or at hsc@spirehealthcare.com

The first thing to do is contact your insurer directly to discuss this with them, as any shortfall we present to you will have been based on your insurer’s advice. If your insurer confirms you have been billed in error, please let our Customer Services team know, and we can hold the case whilst we await a reassessment and payment from your insurer. You can reach our team on 0118 975 4118 or at hsc@spirehealthcare.com

If your insurer advises they have reassessed and paid a balance that you have already settled we can certainly get a refund arranged. Please get in touch with our Customer Services Team on 0118 975 4118 and we can get the process started.

We’ll need to check some information so, if possible, please confirm when your insurer has released their payment or when they are due to do so.

Each insurer that Spire Healthcare is permitted to bill directly will agree their own rate for each procedure. These rates can be higher or lower than the hospital’s self-funding rate, or other different insurers’ rates, for any particular treatment, but they enable insurers to provide pre-authorisation and take their member’s policy limits into account.

For us to send a charge to an insurer, they must be sent at these contractually agreed rates. These rates will also apply to any shortfall or non-payment returned by your insurer.

Medication and take home items

The invoice description for the medications will sometimes include a description of the number of tablets in a full box. This is usually for inventory reasons at the hospital, and does not necessarily reflect the number of tablets you have been issued. The number of tablets you have charged for is detailed in the “Quantity” column on the invoice.

No. Once a medication or physio item has left the hospital, we are unable to accept it back for reuse due to health and safety concerns.

Invoice descriptions

In some cases a procedure may have the option for a biopsy or aspiration to be performed to allow for follow on testing. However the cost of the procedure, and the description on our invoice, remains the same regardless of whether or not the biopsy or aspiration was required.

These are noted on our invoices as being the procedure +/- biopsy or aspiration.

If further testing was required, whist the sample being removed is not charged for, there may be an additional charge for the subsequent testing performed on the biopsied sample.

If you have had blood tests performed these will usually appear on our invoice as a list of individual tests, each with their own charge.

Most tests will have a description matching the substance tested for; for example a test for the hormone Thyroxine will simply read “Thyroxine” on our invoice.

These tests will usually also include a charge for the blood being drawn, described as a “Phlebotomy”.

Please see the below for some of the most common queried invoice descriptions and what they refer to. If the item is not covered, please contact our Customer Services team on 0118 975 4118 or at hsc@spirehealthcare.com

  • US = Ultrasound 
  • XR = X-ray
  • LT = Left (i.e. XR Knee LT would be an X-ray of the left knee)
  • RT = Right(i.e. XR Knee RT would be an X-ray of the right knee)
  • Phlebotomy = The process of drawing blood ahead of required tests
  • GAD or Gadolinium = A contrast agent used to improve the quality of internal scans
  • Aural toilet = A cleaning of the ear

Still can't find the answers you're looking for?

Want to find out more? If you have any questions that haven't been covered, please contact our Customer Services team on 0118 975 4118 or at hsc@spirehealthcare.com and we'll be happy to help.

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