Medical bills are a hardship many people take on out of necessity. When health problems go untreated for too long, people have to seek treatment, and thus face the scary uncertainty of medical bills. At times, it seems like falling off a cliff with no return watching the medical bills pile up.
The feelings of helplessness are sometimes overwhelming. But for anyone who has medical bills, they should make absolute sure they are only paying what they owe, and not a penny more.
80% Of Medical Bills Are Incorrect
This is especially important because its been reported that eight out ten medical bills have errors. So the odds are an individual will receive an erroneous medical bill sometime in his life. He should always be aware of what he’s paying for and why.
Medical bills supposedly count for over half of the debts in collection and hospitals are only getting more aggressive in ensuring that they receive payments.
Erroneous Medical Bills
So if you don’t know where to even start when fighting erroneous medical bills, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Request a bill that has an itemized list of charges
- Look for anything billed more than once
- Compare hospital bill with the one you get from your health insurance company
- Double-check with your physician about questionable services
First of all, make sure that you get a bill that lists all the charges. Sometimes people just get a totalized charge, but they should always request a list with a breakdown of what everything cost. This way, you can make sure not to be charged twice for a co-pay, which unfortunately happens to many people.
Another advantage of the itemized list is that you can make sure that you aren’t being billed twice for the same thing. If you are charged for a surgery and then see charges for individual items that were used during the surgery, make sure to dispute these charges.
Compare The Bill
Also compare the bill to the one you get from your health insurance company. Make sure that they match, and if they don’t look into why there are discrepancies and how to fix those. Discrepancies are a great place to start in finding and tracking down errors.
And, lastly, if you believe that you are being billed for services that weren’t administered bring your bill to your doctor. Request that he/she clarifies what services were administered and ask to take off charges for ones that weren’t.
Get Everything In Writing
Make sure to get everything in writing, so if disputes occur you have the chance to provide verified proof that you are being overbilled. Having written copies will also help provide you a certain piece of mind. Additiionally if a lawsuit does occur you will already be ahead of the game by having your documents ready.
It’s crucial to always advocate yourself in the confusing world of medical billing. Because, remember, if you don’t stick up for yourself then no one else will!
Kenneth Gray is the creator of A-fordable Billing Solution a Pasadena based company which helps individuals and providers by providing medical billing services and their on-line medical billing guide.
Photo Credit: attercop311 (CC BY 2.0)