Medical billing complaints are on the rise and with very good reason. Over 80% of medical bills contain errors, whether from erroneous charges, double billings or, in some cases, abusive charging practices. It’s no wonder that patients are finding it difficult to trust their hospital or physician to charge fairly for their services.
Why Billing Complaints are Increasing
Medical billing complaints are increasing for several reasons. Now that physicians and hospitals are using electronic devices, more errors are being made. Some hospitals and physicians are attempting to increase their profitability by using more creative billing code practices. Whatever the reasons for the mistakes on the bills, patients are paying far more than they owe in most cases.
Many errors are made with electronic patient records by checking the wrong box or entering a wrong number. The billing department uses the electronic patient records to bill the patient and any typos, will be carried along into the patient’s bill. To make matters worse, the patient usually never sees a detailed bill so they have no idea there are mistakes on that bill.
Some hospitals use billing codes that cost the patient far more to increase their bottom line. For instance, instead of using a billing code that bundles many aspects of a procedure, a facility might use the billing codes for each part of the procedure. This method, often referred to as “unbundling”, charges a much higher rate for a procedure than using the bundled billing code. Many medical billing complaints have been lodged against hospitals for this practice.
Medical facilities might also use other creative billing practices that generate medical billing complaints. An emergency facility might charge for a higher severity level than was actually assigned. Treatment for a minor injury would not require the use of life-saving equipment, which can incur high charges. However, you could be charged for the use of a high severity level room without your knowledge. Without a medical bill audit, a patient will have no idea they have been improperly billed for that emergency room visit.
Numerous medical billing complaints involve procedures and services appearing on a patient’s bill that have not been performed. Patients have been billed for the wrong procedure or for the correct procedure but a much more expensive version of it. They’ve been billed for services or tests they did not receive. Sometimes the patient is charged for another person’s medical procedure due to confusing patients’ names.
It Pays to Get a Medical Bill Audit
With medical billing complaints on the rise, every patient should get a medical bill audit whenever they receive a medical bill they feel might be incorrect. Over 80% of these medical bills contain errors and can cost the patient many thousands of dollars. Only with the help of a medical billing expert can the patient find out the detailed charges on their medical bills.