How to Write a Medical Bill Dispute Letter

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If you’ve recently found yourself burdened with stacks and stacks of extremely high medical bills, you are probably worrying about how you are going to pay them. Healthcare in the United States can be costly, and sometimes even the smallest procedures or the shortest hospital stays can cause a financial burden. However, you should never let the accumulation of medical debt, or even bankruptcy, become an option. By writing a medical bill dispute letter, you can begin to resolve some of the issues that make your medical bills seem so impossible.

medical bill disputeSavings will come when you establish the fact that nothing is impossible; not even disputing your medical bills. Each day, thousands of Americans receive bills that they just can’t afford to pay. Each day, a small percentage of those Americans fight these high costs, and come out on the winning side. The only difference between the first group and the second group is knowing how to approach a dispute the right way. Learning how to craft the perfect medical bill dispute letter can begin to ease some of these financial troubles immediately.

Without a doubt, medical bills can be confusing. Unless you’re a doctor, nurse, or similar healthcare professional, it’s difficult to understand where your charges stem from, or which ones might be false. Most often, patients pay their medical bills in full simply because they don’t feel there’s another option. However, even before writing your medical bill dispute letter, it’s important to understand that most bills contain many errors.

Some of the most common mistakes found on medical bills include clerical errors, duplicate charges, billing for procedures that were never performed, and charges for medications you never received. Without carefully evaluating the detailed itemized statement you receive from your provider, you may pass over these mistakes, and end up paying far more money than you should have. If there is an item on your detailed itemized statement you feel you may not have received or was unnecessary to your diagnosis, request a copy of your medical records to verify if this test or procedure was performed and/or ordered. Simply call the medical record department of the hospital or provider and state that you want the medical records pertaining to the days you were under care.

After analyzing your bills and deciding which charges you’d like to dispute, it’s now time to create your medical bill dispute letter. This written notice will be the first step in fighting these disputed charges. Be sure to write the letter as soon as possible and to provide essential details like your account information, details on the charges you’re disputing, and a statement that explains why they are being disputed. Provide any supporting documentation that may be available along with your letter. This medical bill dispute letter will help your hospital or doctor understand why you feel these charges aren’t your responsibility. Therefore, make sure to write your letter in a clear, detailed, thoughtful manner. After all, it’s one of the best weapons against these pricey and possibly fraudulent fees.

After sending your medical bill dispute letter on its way, it’s important to remain patient. The process of disputing bills is never fast or easy, but in the end, it is usually worth it. If you face resistance in the beginning, don’t give up. Countless Americans have successfully disputed their medical bills, often enlisting the help of a medical billing advocate. There’s simply no reason you can’t count yourself among them.

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Pat Palmer
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6 Responses to “How to Write a Medical Bill Dispute Letter”

  1. Barbara Gill says:

    A few years ago, my son-in-law severed an artery in his wrist with a drill. He had insurance, but due to the fact that he had a heart attack when he was 39, he couldn’t increase his coverage or change insurance. My daughter drove him to emergency since his insurance didn’t cover the ambulance. He almost passed out from loss of blood. He was taken into surgery and a doctor sewed up his artery. About a month later, he got a bill for $60,000 for the surgeon (not covered because he was out of network) and $20,000 for the emergency room and tests. The insurance paid less than half of the emergency room. The rest fell on his shoulders. He was making monthly payments (as much as he could). He got a call saying that he wasn’t paying enough and according to their income, that they felt he could pay more. He was so depressed and was working extra jobs to make enough money to cover these bills. They hounded him at work and day and night on his cell phone. He stopped taking his meds and stopped going to the heart doctor. He died of a heart attack at age 51. He needed bypass surgery but refused to be humiliated by anymore doctors.

    • Christie Hudson says:

      I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your son-in-law.

      It is unfortunate that he was unable to upgrade his insurance prior to his accident. However, keep in mind that some insurance companies will pay out-of-network charges in an emergency situation. If that bill still exists, we would be happy to look it over. Give us a call at 855-203-7058.

  2. E'dit Martinez D. says:

    Dear Ms. Hudson,

    I stumbled upon your website/forum regarding people who are struggling to pay medical bills. I myself have received a medical bill for which I had to see emergency room on two injured hands. I suffered a dog bite which inflamed my hand and I suffered a door jam with my other hand, both within days. I do not understand how this could happen to me suddenly. I had been seeing my doctor, but the pain led to the ER. I did have x-rays done on one hand because the dog bite injury was caused by my brother’s dog which had never come to the family home. He is a german shepherd. He would have caused more harm or probably would have killed me had not my niece been present to stop him. My total bill is over $1500 dollars and I have called the week following and filed a grievance with the administration office becausae while I was in a patient room, I was given a pain medication called Tramadol. I suffer from dysphagia (swallowing and choking episodes) and have so for years. The tramadol nearly killed me after I read the information about this drug. It was crushed by the nurse and I had taken with apple sauce I brought to keep my throat from closing. I have been carrying juice, fruit sauces to prevent episodes of choking. I read where tramadol must not be crushed and can cause seizures, slow rate, and death. I called for help and asked for oxygen because I could not breathe and my chest felt heavy. She dismissed it as anxiety. The cat scan I had was the same equipment as the first cat scan in another location. Both of these scans were locations of Hermann hospital. I paid for the first one was $52.00 dollars, but I billed an exhorbitant amount for the second one at ER. For all that I have endured with regards to how I was managed and handled does not fit the reasoning of this bill. Now, I have received a letter or bill from an attorney representing the hospital. I would like to know if you recommend andy advice on what I can do to eight fight and/ or dispute this bill. I’ve had no insurance since 2004 for caring for my elderly father. My father recently passed away and I am now caring for my eighty year old mother. I have not generated income in the last few years since my father was ailing until his passing. When I worked temporary in between when my father was stable, I did not earn enough to support a monthly insurance premium. I’ve had to put the most important things first which are my parents. Please help if there is recourse for me. Thank you.

    • Pat Palmer Pat Palmer says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your hospital experience. So many people have had similar situations throughout the U.S. My suggestion would be to question the attorney as to why you don’t qualify for charity assistance with no income. Second, were you given an uninsured discount on billed charges? Have you had someone review your charges for your accuracy? Hospital bills can be (and usually are) full of non-billable charges. Please give us a call if you would like us to review your charges. 855-203-7058.

  3. Amy says:

    You are very knowledgeable about fighting bills at the hospital. I am currently trying to dispute bills from the ER. Here is what happened:
    I was planning a home birth but had to be transmitted last minute due to baby having an elevated heart rate. I delivered in the ambulance a mile from the hospital. I asked the EMS to take me back home was informed they had to take me to the ER. When I arrived at the ER I declined any care before they even wheeled me into the hospital. I wanted to go home. THe situation that was emergent had passed and I had two midwifes with me to finish care with me and my new baby. I did not have a car seat with me so my mom went back to my house to pick it up. The ER manager asked if we would go into one of there rooms so we would not be waiting in the halls. I explained that we did not want to be seen and that we could wait outside if needed. He said that he had spoken to his ER director and we would not be receiving care. Later the ER physician came in and I refused care again. No care was ever given to me or my baby. Later I received a bill from both the physician and the ER department. I called the director and she said due to EMTALA laws they had to evaluate me and my baby and that is why I received a charge. No evaluation was given, no one ever laid a hand on me or my baby nor did any evaluating. I have looked into the EMTALA law and saw that you technically are not presenting to ER if you are on a non-owned ambulance. Can I actually fight these charges?

    • Pat Palmer Pat Palmer says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation, but congratulations on the birth of your baby!
      Based on the information provided, I would suggest that you request a detailed, itemized statement of all charges from your ER visit. They must provide you with this if you ask. Also, request a copy of your medical records. See if these itemized charges match what is on your medical records.
      I do need to state that EMS staff might be obligated to have a patient evaluated once that patient is in their care (a passenger in the ambulance), based on the situation.
      If you need help with this, please don’t hesitate to call us.

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