How to Negotiate Medical Bills
More than ever, patients are starting to negotiate medical bills. If you receive medical bills that are far higher than you were expecting, there is probably a reason why. Two recent studies discovered that 80% or more of medical bills contain mistakes. Some of these errors are not accidental and some are honest mistakes. Every year, these errors result in millions of dollars of inaccurate charges on medical bills.
Given that some patients may not be well-versed in the billing code system used by hospitals and insurance companies, it pays to get a medical bill review, which could help to negotiate your medical bills. This review will point out any errors in medical billing and will also offer an explanation of all charges on your bill. A detailed itemized medical bill (acquired by the medical billing advocate) will allow you to review all charges and compare them to all procedures, treatments, medications and supplies you actually received.
You may want to negotiate your medical bills that contain incorrect charges, but you might not be sure how to get started. A medical billing advocate will search for numerous possible areas in which errors are more likely to occur. Charging much more than what is considered to be fair and reasonable is a frequent problem with medical billing in the U.S.
Unbundled codes cost you and your insurance company much more money than you should be paying. A bundled billing code leaves the patient with a significantly lower medical bill. When you are charged by the individual billing code for each part of the procedure, your bill is much higher. Sometimes your insurance company will catch this, but you should not rely on them to find these mistakes. This is something a medical bill review will reveal.
A medical bill review will compare what you were charged with to what is considered to be fair and reasonable in your area. Hospitals often charge very different amounts for the same service – even within the same community. There are hospitals in numerous cities across the nation that charge an average of 200%-400% more than a neighboring hospital on various procedures, treatments and services.
Your medical bill review will alert you to charges that are far more expensive than the standard fee in your area.
Your medical bill review will also investigate medical bills for inflated fees for services and supplies. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for patients to have highly inflated charges for basic supplies, such as $23 for an alcohol swab or $15 for a bag of ice. You may not know if this has happened to you unless you request a detailed itemized statement of your medical bills.
The detailed itemized statement will reveal the quantity and number of units for each individual item or service you received. . If your procedure required anesthesia, the anesthesiologist will record the time you were sedated and when the procedure was complete. Make sure you are paying only for the correct amount of time you were under sedation. .
Let a Professional Medical Billing Advocate Find Hospital Bill Overcharges
Getting a medical billing advocate on your side will keep you from having to negotiate your own medical bills. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process if you are not experienced in the field of medical bill negotiation. You have the right to “True and Accurate” and “Fair and Reasonable” charges on your medical bills and you deserve to have an advocate stand up for those rights.