Pat Palmer Featured on Fox Business on Billing Overcharges

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Fox Business has recently featured Pat Palmer in a news article written by Donna Fuscaldo, entitled “How to Spot Medical Billing Errors“.

In the article, Pat shares her tips on medical bills, why they’re overcharged, and ways to go about fighting the bills. Her expertise is accompanied by Lisa Zamosky, health reform expert from WebMD.

Generally speaking, medical billing errors can be caused by a variety of factors, including services being logged incorrectly, confusing billing codes, a lackluster billing process, and unscrupulous medical professionals. Whatever the case, it’s clear that medical billing mistakes occur far too often.

Fox News

The combination of these mistakes has led to a well-circulated industry estimate that 8 out of 10 medical bills contain errors. These errors add up quickly, costing consumers and insurance providers thousands, if not millions of dollars a year. This comes into play especially for larger companies whose medical bills will stretch across the million dollar mark over the course of the fiscal year.

As Pat Palmer mentions in the article, these errors are on the rise due to a complex billing system. Whether overcharges are intentional or unintentional, the fact remains that the increasingly complex world of medicine, medical technology and procedures are processed using a universal billing system.

Instead of providing itemized lists for the expenses on a bill, items are typically lumped into a single heading or a “bundled” procedure with an ambiguous name. This style of billing makes it very easy to hide improperly billed items, and in general for mistakes to go unnoticed.

Part of the key to this is requesting an itemized medical bill. Pat is a strong advocate of this, as everyone is entitled to receive one. An itemized bill should unbundle complex charges and reveal the items within a header.

One common example is when you have been charged for individual items as well as the bundled charge that should have covered those items. For instance, Pat explains that an operating room could cost anywhere from $60 to $200 a minute depending on the type of procedure. This per-minute charge doesn’t just cover the patient, but it also covers all of the costs associated with operating an OR.

In this case, you would want to speak with the billing department from the hospital to confirm you are not being double billed.  You should also talk with your insurance company to make sure they are not overpaying as well.

You can read the original article by clicking here.

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