We’d like to welcome you to Avera St. Mary's and help make your visit a comfortable one. This section provides an overview of helpful information if you are becoming a patient at the hospital, using an outpatient service, or visiting someone in our facilities.
CaringBridge provides Avera St. Mary’s with yet another way to minister to the whole person – body, mind and spirit. The goal of the service is to ease the burden of keeping friends and family updated, while providing a way for them to send their love, support and encouragement.
Billing & Insurance
Our hospital is responsible for submitting bills to your insurance company and will do everything possible to expedite your claim. Your bill reflects all services you received during your stay. Separate from your hospital bill, you may receive other bills from various physicians who may have consulted on your case, or provided services ordered by your physician. Learn more about billing and insurance.
Financial assistance is available to those who qualify. For more information contact the Business Office at (605) 224-3115.
Our goal is to make your registration process as pleasant and convenient as possible. Accuracy, efficiency and patient confidentiality are the primary focus of this department, while delivering the best in customer service. Patient Access includes the information desk, registration areas, switchboard, pre-registration (224-3481) and Central Scheduling (224-3368).
Any test or procedure done in the hospital requires you to provide demographic information and sign the appropriate consent forms. Please arrive at the hospital 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time; the first available admitting clerk will call you up to the desk in the order you have signed in. You may receive a phone call from our office ahead of time to assist in completing both the registration and financial/insurance arrangements. You can also pre-register for your test or procedure by calling (605) 224-3481 between the hours of 11AM and 7PM. Pre-registration will save you time on the day of your visit, although upon arrival you will still need to stop at the front desk to sign paperwork and receive appropriate identification (ID bracelet).
Please have the following items with you when you arrive:
- All current health insurance information/health insurance cards
- Physician order or prescriptions for any test or procedure
- Optional: A copy of your Living Will and/or Durable Power of Attorney to place in your medical record.
- Your co-pay or deductible, if known. We accept cash, check, or credit cards for payment.
If you will be an in-patient at our facility, please do not bring any valuables (i.e., cash, rings, watches, etc.) with you. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify. For more information, please contact our financial/insurance specialist at (605) 224-3106.
Avera St. Mary’s Hospital is dedicated to providing quality health care. We want to make sure you are treated with dignity and respect, and that you are given all the information you need to understand your condition and make decisions about your treatment. These are patient rights. Please take time to read about your Patient Rights and Responsibilities and then ask any of your health care professionals if you have questions.
Patient Rights and Responsibilities.
At Avera St. Mary's, we believe access to necessary health care services should not be based on ability to pay. That belief is grounded in our Catholic heritage and history of service to this community.
Of course, your hospital bill is a legal obligation. For patients who have health insurance and are employed, we trust and expect that you (together with your insurance company) will pay your bill in its entirety and in a timely manner.
Avera St. Mary's has an obligation to seek payment for services - through fair and respectful billing and collection practices - so we are able to continue to serve our community.
But we realize that many people, whether they are employed or unemployed, either cannot afford health insurance or do not have enough insurance to cover their bills.
Avera St. Mary's has payment options and financial assistance that helps to ensure necessary health care is available to any person who needs it.
In order to help patients plan for healthcare expenditures, the following link offers estimates on a variety of services performed by Avera St. Mary's. Please keep in mind these are just estimates. If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact a Financial Account Representative if have any questions.
Most senior citizens find comfort in knowing that they have Medicare benefits, as typically, it is during our senior years when our need for healthcare services increases. The Medicare program, administered by the Center for Medicare Services, has over the years adopted very strict requirements to assure that healthcare providers are giving Medicare beneficiaries clear and consistent communication about services and coverage.
It is important for our patients to understand what their Medicare benefits may or may not include. For example, Medicare does not pay for nursing home care and has limits on what services are covered for hospital patients, based on medical necessity of acute care conditions. For these reasons, inpatients will learn more about their Medicare coverage from our case management team, composed of nurses, social workers, physicians, and other care givers. Our team will explain the various Medicare forms that we are required to present to patients at specified points during hospitalization.
Avera St. Mary's has adopted policies and procedures to align with Medicare's regulations on hospitalization. This means that upon admission or in the event of extended hospital stays patients may be issued a denial of coverage if their condition does not meet Medicare approved criteria for hospitalization. There are specific regulations of admission criteria, continued hospitalization and tests/procedures that can be performed during hospital stays. If a patient's condition does not meet these criteria, it is possible that the patient may be denied coverage under Medicare. If a patient is denied coverage by Medicare for hospitalization, Avera St. Mary's staff will work with patients and families to find other resources to provide the appropriate level of care.
In working toward the Avera mission, Avera St. Mary's has taken its role as a charitable organization very seriously; however increases in charity care, uninsured care and bad debt expense make managing cost increases a growing challenge. In fact in 2008, St. Mary's gave more than $100,000 each month in charity care to over 187 families in our service area, providing care to patients with a variety of social and personal needs. Our mission of healthcare ministry relies on the preservation of the Medicare program, since over 60% of our patients are Medicare beneficiaries. The simple demographics of an aging population in our service area mandate that we all be good stewards of our healthcare resources.
Our mission will not change. Avera St. Mary's will not deny medical care to anyone, and will continue to care for those who need our services. In order to remain a strong institution with in the community, we must keep up with changes which shift the responsibility of payment in accordance with Medicare regulations.
At Avera St. Mary's we understand that being surrounded by friends and family can be therapeutic. However, over-doing it can be very detrimental to recovery. Therefore, we work to maintain a balance that promotes optimal healing. You can help to preserve this balance by respect visiting hours.
Avera St. Mary's general visiting hours are 8:00 am to 8:30 pm.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) visitation is restricted. Please call the nurse's station before you visit at 224-3270.
OB - Because mother and baby need to rest, the visiting hours for the general public are Noon to 2:30 pm and 6 pm to 8:30pm. Fathers/support persons, children, siblings and grandparents are welcome to visit from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm to be apart of the bonding process.
The Joint Commission
Avera St. Mary's Hospital is a Joint Commission accredited hospital for its acute care, laboratory, and home health/hospice services. As such, we agree to undergo an unannounced accreditation survey by the Joint Commission at any time.
The Joint Commission is a voluntary accreditation organization which conducts an on-site survey of Avera St. Mary’s every three years. At any time, the public may contact The Joint Commission to report concerns about patient safety and quality of care. Any individual who provides care, treatment, and services can report concerns about safety or the quality of care to The Joint Commission without retaliatory action from the Healthcare Center.
Concerns may be addressed to:
The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrance, IL. 60181.
You may also contact the Joint Commission's Office of Quality Monitoring by email at email@example.com or by fax at (630) 792-5636. Summarize the issue in two pages or less and include the name and full address of the organization in question. For more information, call The Joint Commission’s toll free number, (800) 994-6610, available weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Central Time.
Patient complaints may also be filed with:
SD Dept. of Health, Division of Licensure and Certification,
600 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, 57501
We believe it is important for you and your family to be comfortable communicating with your caregivers, so please do not hesitate to ask questions or seek assistance from our staff.
The word Avera comes from a Latin word meaning "to be well." It is our mission to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.