5 THINGS YOU MUST DO WHEN YOU GET YOUR HOSPITAL BILL
Hey GenZers, Did you or a family member get a hospital bill you can’t afford, or feel is too expensive?
Here are 5 things you absolutely MUST do when you get a hospital bill, that could reduce your bill:
1). REQUEST COMPLETE ITEMIZATION
The goal is to know exactly what supplies, specific medications and implants were used. Remember that every item in the hospital, every pill, toothbrush, box of tissue and surgical item has a code.
- The bill should include:
- Date and Time
- Medical Billing CPT Code
- Total Price
- Insurance Adjustment
- Patient Amount Due
- Should you get pushback from the hospital let them know that you are full aware that IT IS YOUR RIGHT.
- NEGOTIATE – Should you happen to receive a bill that you feel is overpriced from a hospital, medical office, or testing center consider the possibility of negotiating the bill.
2). REQUEST A DISCOUNT
Often a clerk is authorized to approve a discount on your charges. If you have not yet met your deductible and are paying out of pocket make an offer of payment. It is best to be prepared to make a larger one time payment for a discount. Referring patients to debt collectors greatly reduces the amount the hospital will receive.
3). CONFIRM YOUR BILL IS CORRECT
Make sure you are being billed for the actual services that you received while at the hospital. Remember that it is estimate that 80% of medical bills contain errors!
- Review the dates on the bill and make sure they match the dates you were in the hospital. Review the times as well. If you were admitted after midnight, make sure the charges reflect the correct day. If you were discharged in the morning, make sure you are only charged for the appropriate amount of time, not the entire day.
• Review to ensure there are no duplicate charges for services you only received once.
• Make sure you received the medications that you were charged for.
Medications are sometimes ordered in a hospital setting but the patient does not end up taking the meds and is billed for the medication anyway.
4). PUT IT IN WRITING
Put it in Writing – If you are going to protest a bill make sure that you email or mail them a letter and remember to keep a copy.
You can submit your bill to Kaiser Health News – This crowdsourced investigation by Kaiser Health News and NPR dissects and explains your medical bills every month in order to shed light on U.S. health care prices and to help patients learn how to be more active in managing costs. Do you have a medical bill that you’d like us to see and scrutinize? Submit it here and tell us the story behind it.
I have even heard of people sending copies of their letters to their insurance commissioners, consumer protection beuarus , and local news outlets where the hospital is. Don’t forget you can always reach out to a Medical Association as well.
- Keep these handy statistics to reference.
- Refer to one of the online pricing tools.
- Contact a patient advocate, make sure to review how to choose a patient advocate – a person who helps guide a patient through the healthcare system.
5). REVIEW ANY OUT OF NETWORK BILLS
Review any out-out-network bills – An out of network provider may send a bill to patients directly because they are out of the network. The bill is often the difference between the in-network contracted price and the provider’s full fee. Informed Consent is a medical principle. You went to an in network hospital, to be treated by in network providers, so that your care would be covered. You were not made aware of the out of network status of the provider and did not consent to the participation of the providers’ care. Inform them that you are only willing to pay the same copay that you would have had to pay for an in-network provider.