Payment Plans and Financial Assistance

Please tell us if you cannot pay your bill in full. We can help -- with interest-free payment plans, information about financial assistance you may be eligible for, and help applying for government-sponsored programs. Call Customer Service at 919-620-4555 (local) or 1-800-782-6945 (toll-free). Hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday and 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Thursday.

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Payment Plans

Duke University Health System (DUHS) offers interest‐free payment plans of up to six years in length, depending upon the combined total you owe to all Duke Health entities. The table below shows the maximum amount of time you can take to pay based on your total outstanding balance.

Patient Balance (All Duke Health Entities)

Maximum Term

Up to $2,000

12 months

$2,000 to $5,000

24 months

$5,001 to $7,500

36 months

$7,501 to $10,000

48 months

Greater than $10,000

72 months

To set up a payment plan, please contact a financial care counselor at one of our locations or contact Customer Service at 919-620-4555 (local) or 1-800-782-6945 (toll-free). Payment plans may be set up before, at the time of, or after you receive services. For payment plans set up before or at the time of service, you must make the first month’s payment to establish the plan, and you must not have any other outstanding bills with DUHS.

DUHS Financial Assistance

Which Providers Participate?

  • Patients who receive treatment at a DUHS facility and demonstrate an inability to pay may receive discounted services under DUHS' Financial Assistance Policy. This policy applies to DUHS and all its entities, including: 
    • Duke University Hospital
    • Duke Raleigh Hospital
    • Duke Regional Hospital
    • Davis Ambulatory Surgery Center
    • Duke Primary Care
    • Duke Homecare & Hospice
  • The Private Diagnostic Clinic, PLLC (PDC) does not have prescribed financial assistance policies but, as an accommodation and courtesy to PDC patients, has elected to follow the financial assistance determinations made by DUHS under this policy.
  • Durham Emergency Physicians, PA, and Durham Radiology Associates, Inc., have separate financial assistance policies but have elected to follow the financial assistance determinations made by DUHS under this policy.

What Services Are Eligible?

  • Medical treatment that is urgent or provided on an emergency basis is eligible for a financial assistance discount under the DUHS Financial Assistance Policy. Examples of this type of treatment include: 
    • Treatment provided in a DUHS Emergency Department
    • Treatment provided in an inpatient setting following an urgent admission to a DUHS hospital
    • Follow-up treatment to services provided through the Emergency Department once a follow-up visit and evaluation has occurred with a Duke physician
  • Health care services necessary to prevent a serious health impact as determined by a Duke physician also may be eligible for a financial assistance discount.
  • Transplant, experimental, and elective services are not eligible for a financial assistance discount.

DUHS Financial Assistance Discounts

Patients may receive up to a 100 percent discount on eligible services based upon how their household income compares to current Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

2020 Duke Patient Revenue Management Organization (PRMO) Financial Assistance Sliding Scale

Patients who have large out-of-pocket costs after insurance may also be eligible for financial assistance discounts. These medical hardship situations affect a patient's ability to pay for basic living expenses and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Other types of patients who may be approved for financial assistance adjustments include:

  • Deceased patients with limited-value estates
  • Patients with collections balances who are in verified Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • Project Access patients
  • Patients approved for treatment at Southern High School
  • Patients who express an inability to pay for outpatient prescription medications from Duke’s retail pharmacy

Applying for Financial Assistance

For care provided through the emergency department, and for many uninsured patients receiving eligible services, no formal application is required. Patients will automatically be screened for potential financial assistance eligibility. During the visit, financial counselors can meet with you to determine whether there are any outside forms of financial assistance -- such as Medicaid or the Crime-Victim or Cancer-Control Programs -- that can help pay for your services.

If outside financial assistance is not available, we will automatically apply a financial assistance discount to your bill based on your reported income level.

For other eligible inpatient and outpatient services, DUHS financial counselors can assist you with applying for outside forms of financial assistance or DUHS financial assistance during your stay or visit.

To qualify for a financial assistance discount, you must provide us with the necessary information and documentation to determine whether any forms of outside financial assistance are available. You may be denied financial assistance if you or your family fails to cooperate with this process.

For more information, see the DUHS financial assistance summary and application form. You can download the documents here:

You can also pick up copies of the policies or a financial assistance application at any DUHS patient registration location.

To obtain the full version of the DUHS Financial Assistance Self-Pay Collections policies, send a request in writing to:

Self-Pay Collections Department
5213 South Alston Ave.
Durham, NC 27713

Community Financial Resources
In addition to DUHS Financial Assistance discounts and government-sponsored programs, there are a number of community resources that may be able to assist you.

If You Have Questions

If you believe you qualify for financial assistance or other forms of outside financial assistance but have not spoken with a financial counselor or received a discount, please contact Customer Service at 919-620-4555 (local) or 1-800-782-6945 (toll-free). Hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday and 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Thursday.

Financial Assistance: Part of Our Commitment to Community Health

As a not-for-profit health system, Duke University Health System is committed to caring for our patients, nurturing the sick, and strengthening the well. We honor our tax-exempt status and our responsibility to the counties we serve through various programs, activities, and partnerships that are aimed at improving the health of our communities. The details of our community involvement can be found here.