Planning a clinic visit


Common questions about clinic visits

This information is designed to understand—and plan for—billing related to a clinic visit.

What is a hospital-based clinic?
A hospital-based clinic is owned by a hospital. The clinic is under the hospital's license and in a space approved by The Joint Commission, an independent agency that helps ensure and monitor the quality and safety of patient care. The clinic does not have to be within the main hospital, but it must be within a certain distance of the main campus. If the clinic is not on the main campus, a sign should tell patients they are at a hospital. Please see our Clinic listing.

What is a free-standing clinic?
A free-standing clinic is not owned by a hospital. It has its own license and its own location. (All Fairview Clinics in the greater metro area are owned by Fairview Health Services, not by our hospitals.) Please see our Clinic listing.

How can I find out if my insurance will cover my visit?
Ask your insurance company by visiting their website or calling their customer service line.

Can I update my insurance information before my clinic visit?
You can update your insurance at the time you set up your visit. If your coverage changes before the day of your visit, call the clinic to update it.

Can I update my address before my clinic visit?
You can update your address at the time you set up your visit. If your address changes before the day of your visit, call the clinic to update it.

Will I have a co-pay for a combined routine exam and office visit?
This depends on your policy. Insurance companies may require a co-pay when you combine two types of visits. Call your insurer and ask if they charge a co-pay for a routine visit, an office visit or both.
What is a routine (preventive) exam?
The routine exam takes place at a regular time, such as once a year. Your doctor checks your physical and mental health and screens for problems. The doctor may discuss health risks related to lifestyle or personal and family history.

What is not included in a routine (preventive) exam?
In a routine exam, your doctor will not assess or treat a new medical problem.

How would I be charged if I have a routine exam and need to discuss a new problem during the same visit?
If you have both services during one visit, a charge will be submitted to your insurance company for each of them.

What is the advantage of doing both on the same visit?
You do not have to make an extra trip to the doctor’s office.

Will my insurance company pay for both services during the same visit?
When a routine exam is combined with an office visit for a problem, insurance will pay charges for both. (Except for Medicare, which does not pay for routine exams.) Your insurer may require a co-pay for both types of services. It is up to you to check with your insurer to find out when a co-pay is required.

This is not a Fairview decision; it is based on your insurance policy and coverage. If you have an issue with the second co-pay, we urge you to contact your insurance company.
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