Questions Frequently Asked by Patients

Below is a list of the more frequently asked questions we receive at ECEP.  Of course, if you need answers to any questions that are not found here please contact us.

Are ECEP's physicians Board Certified?

All of our physicians are board certified in their specialty.

What is the North Carolina Prudent Layperson Legislation and how does it affect me?

North Carolina General Statutes § 58-3-176, 58-67-50(c), and 58-3-190 (1997) require that coverage for emergency services must be provided to the extent necessary to screen and stabilize the person covered under the insurance plan. If the emergency services are obtained from a hospital or other provider outside the insurance plan's network, the person must still be covered if a prudent layperson would have believed that a delay in seeking treatment would have worsened the emergency or if the person went outside the plan network for emergency treatment for reasons beyond the covered person's control.

This legislation also bans prior approval of emergency treatment if a prudent layperson, acting reasonably, would have believed an emergency existed. If prior approval has been given by the insurance plan for emergency treatment, that approval cannot be retracted after the services have been rendered unless the provider or the patient materially misrepresented the patient's condition. The North Carolina Prudent Layperson Legislation also requires that an insurance plan impose deductibles and copayments on emergency treatment equal to other treatment.

Additionally, the North Carolina Prudent Layperson Legislation requires that insurance plans provide information to their enrollees about coverage of emergency medical services, the use of emergency medical services, cost-sharing provisions for emergency medical services, and accessibility and availability of emergency medical services.

What this means to you as a person covered under an insurance plan is that if you have met your annual insurance plan deductible and the amount the plan pays is less than the total due for the services provided, leaving you with a balance owed, you do have rights to full payment by your insurance company for emergency medical care in North Carolina, whether or not our group or any other emergency provider is contracted with any insurance company. If you have not met your annual deductible, you have the right to receive credit toward your deductible for the full charges of the medical treatment provided.

If your plan is refusing to allow the full charges for the emergency services provided, you may want to make yourself familiar with your rights and further discuss this with your insurance plan.

Why did I receive multiple bills for my hospital visit?

You may receive multiple bills for the same visit to the emergency department, but these bills are for different services.  In addition to the bill you receive for the professional services provided by ECEP staff, you will also receive a bill from the hospital itself, which is for items such as nursing services, equipment, medication, and supplies provided by the hospital.  You may also receive bills from other providers, such as radiology and laboratory.

To make a payment on your emergency department bill please click here (Please have your Statement from ECEP available as it contains your unique Username and Password)

Who do I contact with questions about my Emergency Department professional charges?

Questions about your emergency department charges related to the services provided by ECEP's providers can be directed to our billing service provider; Medical Management Professionals (MMP), at 1-800-868-4872.

If you are insured, your insurance company will be billed for the provider charges incurred during your visit if complete insurance information (insurance company, claims address, policy number, etc.) was provided at the time of registration.  If insurance information needs to be updated or corrected, please call the toll free number listed above.

You will be responsible for payment of your provider charge(s) if you do not have insurance, if the correct insurance information is not provided, and for any charges not paid by your insurance company.  You will be notified by mail of the status of your emergency room provider charges.

To make a payment on your emergency department bill please click here (Please have your Statement from ECEP available as it contains your unique Username and Password)

Are the emergency physicians employees of the hospital?

The hospital has chosen to contract with ECEP II, P.A. to provide emergency services to you.  This decision demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to the provision of very good health care.

Do you participate in the hospital’s Charity Care program?

Many hospitals have implemented programs to assist patients who are not able to pay for their hospital facility charges at the time of service, but these programs are typically for the hospitals facility charges only.  If you are unable to pay your emergency room provider charge when you receive the bill, you may contact our billing service provider, Medical Management Professionals (MMP), at 1-800-868-4872, and they will work with you to set up a reasonable payment plan.

I waited several hours before being seen--why did it take so long?

There are a few things that cause long waiting times in emergency departments.  Many people who come to the emergency department are very sick and must be admitted to the hospital.  If the hospital has no beds available, the patient must wait in the emergency department until a bed becomes available.  This can cause other patients to wait even longer to be seen.  Other people go to the emergency department for minor medical problems that could be treated by an urgent care center or their primary care physician.  Also, the emergency department is a very busy place that handles many patients who need attention at the same time.  Wait times depend on the number of patients and their need for medical attention, including tests and procedures. 

How can I get a copy of the records from my visit to the Emergency Department?

ECEP does not keep records of individual patient visits as those records are maintained by the hospital.  For copies of those records you should contact the Medical Records department at the hospital where you received treatment. For treatment at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, please call (910) 343-7089.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the care I received from the emergency room provider who treated me?

Questions you have regarding the care you received by the emergency room provider may be directed to ECEP’s quality review department at 910-202-3363.

Can I make a payment on my bill from this website?

Certainly. To make a payment on your emergency department bill please click here (Please have your Statement from ECEP available as it contains your unique Username and Password.)