Frequently Asked Questions
Effective March 1, 2013, Doctors Surgery Center became an outpatient department of Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News. Sometimes you will see the term ‘provider based’ used to describe our new status.
Riverside Regional Medical Center has committed to implementing provider based status for relevant affiliates of the health system. Through this change, these affiliated office locations become outpatient departments of Riverside Regional Medical Center. Aligning these offices closer to the health system allows them to retain high quality physicians, establishes enhanced quality and safety standards like those required for hospitals, provides more consistency in the delivery of care, and supports up to date facilities.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hospital Outpatient Departments
Why did Doctors Surgery Center become Riverside Doctors’ Surgery Center, a department of the medical center?
Doctors Surgery Center became Riverside Doctors’ Surgery Center, a department of Riverside Regional Medical Center, to offer you the benefits that result from health system integration. Integrated systems are recognized as providing a continuity of care and high quality healthcare services that are valued by patients. The Federal government is also encouraging integration and collaboration through its health care reform legislation.
As an outpatient department of the medical center, Riverside Doctors’ Surgery Center is required to function within the same regulatory standards as a hospital. This means that the center will be surveyed by the Joint Commission, a hospital regulatory agency, and held to the same high standards as a hospital.
What is the Joint Commission and how does it affect the operations of a facility or physician practice that converts to a department of the hospital?
The Joint Commission is the largest accrediting organization for hospitals. CMS or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid require that hospitals be surveyed by an approved accrediting body in order to receive payment for patient services. Hospitals have annual reporting requirements to the Joint Commission and are surveyed on an unannounced basis every 36 months. The Joint Commission creates accountability to proven hospital healthcare safety and quality standards, such as fire safety, patient safety, infection prevention, and quality improvement while promoting close collaboration between the physicians and team members.
What is Provider Based?
When a facility or physician practice converts to a department of a hospital, and meets the attendant requirements, such as the application of the Joint Commission Accreditation standards, then it may be considered Provider Based and a department of the hospital. In the case of Riverside Doctors’ Surgery Center, “Provider” refers to Riverside Regional Medical Center.
Why am I receiving a hospital bill?
By law, hospital-based departments are required to bill separately for services. These bills will be mailed separately and may not be received at the same time. One bill will be for the professional or clinical fees from the visit and the other bill will be for the facility fee.
- Professional Fees will be billed by the physician(s). This professional or clinical fee covers the time the physician has spent with you, along with the consultation and any medical advice that was provided during your visit.
- Facility Fees will be billed by Riverside Regional Medical Center. This facility fee is the charge for administrative and other costs that are required to support the hospital-based clinic, including but not limited to office space, nursing staff, clerical support, and supplies.
Will I pay more for services in a provider based service (hospital outpatient department)?
As with all healthcare services, cost depends on insurance coverage. Patients who receive care at hospital-based offices may pay more for outpatient services and procedures but the amount will vary depending on the procedure and insurance coverage of the patient. We recommend that all patients review their insurance policies to determine the insurance and out-of-pocket expenses that may be incurred.
Does Riverside Regional Medical Center have other outpatient (provider based) departments?
Yes. Other local offices that also function as outpatient departments of Riverside Regional Medical Center include: Riverside Hampton Surgery Center, Peninsula Gastroenterology, Riverside Diagnostic Centers, and Riverside Cancer Infusion Centers.
As a patient, how do I benefit when a facility or practice becomes a department of Riverside Regional Medical Center?
This change is positive for our patients in many ways:
- Aligns ambulatory centers and physician practices closer to the health system, resulting in better teamwork;
- Provides integrated electronic health records, helping to eliminate duplication and improve safety;
- Enhances safety and quality of care since Riverside Doctors’ Surgery Center is held to the strict standards set by Joint Commission for hospitals;
- Enhances our ability to attract high quality physicians to our area;
- Assures consistency in the delivery of care;
- Supports state of the art facilities;
- Unifies the outpatient setting and the hospital under the same hospital charitable care policy.
Our change to become a department of Riverside Regional Medical Center allows us to retain higher quality physicians and staff and implement increased quality and safety standards which benefit all of our patients immensely.
If you have any questions about this change, please let us know. Our first priority continues to be providing our patients with superior care that promotes safety, healing, kindness and respect.