Patient Billing Questions

Click on a question below for more information:

How do I make a payment?
Why am I being billed?
Why did my specimen come to your office?
Do you bill my insurance directly?
Why didn't my insurance plan pay for the entire bill?
What is a deductible and co-insurance?
Why did I receive 2 bills for the same test?
Are there other types of bills that I may receive?
Can I get on a payment plan?
What is the MQC Collection Agency and why did I receive this letter?
Why do I mail the payment to Portland when your offices are not there?
What insurance plans do you accept?
Why are you not listed as a preferred provider on my insurance plan's website?

 


How do I make a payment?
We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover, please click on this link to pay by credit card.

We use APS Medical Billing as our billing agent. You may call them to make a credit card payment at 1-866-587-6731.

Check or Money Order - Please return your payment coupon and check or money order (no cash please) made out to Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. and mail to us, P.O. Box 6930, Portland, OR 97228. Please note that if you have had your bank pay us in the past, it may have an old address in the profile, please change it to the address listed here.
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Why am I being billed?
Your medical provider ordered laboratory tests and pathology services and sent the specimens to our physicians for review. We bill for the processing and the interpretation of these tests. We bill your insurance company first and then send you an invoice for the portion that insurance did not cover.
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Why did my specimen come to your office?
Your referring medical provider chose our team of Pathologists because they trust our diagnostic skill and experience.

Our Pathologists interpret Pap tests, biopsies and other specimens that come from 5 hospitals and over 225 private physicians' offices in 17 different cities in the Mid-Willamette Valley Region of Oregon.

We are contracted to interpret specimens for procedures performed at the following hospitals:

  • Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon
  • Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, Oregon
  • Silverton Hospital in Silverton, Oregon
  • Santiam Memorial Hospital in Stayton, Oregon
  • West Valley Hospital in Dallas, Oregon
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Do you bill my insurance directly?
Yes, we bill both primary and secondary insurance that is sent from your referring provider's office. If your bill indicates that we do not have the correct insurance information, please contact us immediately so that we can update our files, 1-866-587-6731.
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Why didn't my insurance plan pay for the entire bill?
The most common reason is that there is a deductible, co-insurance or co-payment due from the patient. Sometimes there is a limit to how many times in a year you can receive a service, a reason that Pap tests are often denied. The insurance company may require you to fill out a form before it will process our bill. Please return these forms quickly to the insurance company. If you feel that there is an error by your insurance company, please call our billing office at 1-866-587-6731 for assistance.
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What is a deductible and co-insurance?
The deductible is the amount of money that the patient must pay before the insurance will start paying. Once the deductible has been met, there is usually "co-insurance" that is due from the patient, typically 10% - 20% of the bill.
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Why did I receive 2 bills for the same test?
Most pathology tests have 2 charges, a technical component (TC) and a professional component (PC). The easiest example to use is a mole removal. A mole is removed in your providers' office, put into a formalin solution bottle, and sent to Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc.

The mole is then cut, processed and stained and a slide is prepared for examination under a microscope by a Pathologist to determine the presence of disease.

The technical charge (TC) is for the supplies to store the tissue, chemicals to process the tissue and for the technical staff labor to create the slides.

The professional charge (PC) is for the Pathologists' services and expertise in examining the tissue, reviewing the slides, interpreting the findings and sending a report to the ordering provider.

In most cases, patients get one bill from Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. for both the TC and the PC components, this is called a global bill. In other cases, usually an inpatient hospital stay or day surgery, another hospital or lab bills for the TC portion and Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. bills for the PC portion.
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Are there other types of bills that I may receive?
Yes, for send out tests, other lab tests and 2nd opinions.

Some types of disease require additional testing to confirm a diagnosis or to help determine a treatment plan. Your medical provider or the Pathologist may order these tests. In some cases, you may get a bill from an unfamiliar lab or our office may bill you directly for these tests.

The most common send out tests are cytogenetic tests for bone marrow and blood specimens. We are sensitive to the increased costs of these tests and take great care to limit them to only the most clinically relevant tests available.

Patients and referring providers can also request a 2nd opinion and we will send the slides and the report to another pathology office via overnight mail. There will be a charge from the consulting Pathologist for this service. Please check with your insurance company if you have questions about coverage for 2nd opinions. This charge can be from $250 - $500, more if additional tests are ordered and the patient is responsible for this bill.
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Can I get on a payment plan?
Depending on the amount of your bill, we may be able to offer you a payment plan of no more than 6 monthly installments. If a payment is missed, your account will be sent to our collection agency. We use APS Medical Billing as our billing agent. You may call them to talk about your options at 1-866-587-6731.
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What is the MQC Collection Agency and why did I receive this letter?
MQC is a collection agency that receives all accounts with an outstanding balance over 90 days old. Even if we have not heard back from your insurance company, you are required to pay your bill. If we do receive payment from your insurance company after you have paid, you will be issued a refund.
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Why do I mail the payment to Portland when your offices are not there?
Payments go directly to our bank, which is in Portland.
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What insurance plans do you accept?
We accept most plans in Oregon. A partial list of participating insurance companies is below. Please note that many insurance companies in Oregon use provider networks, and we are a member of many of these networks.

In the unlikely event that you receive an explanation of benefits that indicates Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. is not "in network", please call "APS" (our billing company) at 1-866-587-6731 so that we can get credentialed with that company.
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Why are you not listed as a preferred provider on my insurance plan's website?
It is very common that Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. is NOT listed on insurance websites. Pathologists are considered "hospital based providers" and as such, we are usually not listed on websites. If you see your insurance plan listed below, you can be assured that we are a "preferred provider."

Aetna
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon
Blue Cross Med Advantage
Care Oregon
CareMark
CHAMPUS
Cigna
Clear Choice
DMAP
DMAP Plus
First Choice Health
Great West
Health Net
Healthcare Direct
Healthnet Medicare
HMO Medicare
Lifewise
Managed Health Care Northwest
Marion Polk County Health Department
Med Advantage PPO

Mid Valley IPA Employee Benefit Trust
MPCHP Advantage
ODS
One Health
Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer Program
Oregon Health Plan (OHP)
Oregon Health Plan Plus
Oregon Health Systems, Inc.
Oregon Medicaid
Oregon Medicare
Oregon Worker's Comp.
Pacificare
PacificSource Preferred
Providence Health Systems
Providence Medicare
Secure Horizons
Tri Care
United HealthCare
WA USA

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