When You Should Talk to a Medical Billing Advocate

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Teamwork In The OfficeMedical Billing Advocates of America helps educate the public about the gargantuan issue of abusive medical billing practices. Americans have been the victims of error-laden medical billing, whether intentional or not, for far too long. You will likely need to seek healthcare services at some time. Do you know when you should talk to a medical billing advocate?

MBAA helps consumers know when it’s time to enlist the services of an advocate. If you are unable to perform certain steps to protect yourself from abusive medical billing, you should consider talking to an advocate. You might have gone as far as you can on your own in attempting to talk to the appropriate person in the billing office. You might be getting the runaround from a specific point of contact necessary in moving your case forward. Or you might have the insurance company pointing the finger at the billing department, and vice versa. You might simply be uncomfortable in addressing such a subject at the facility where you receive the majority of your care. Whatever the reason, Medical Billing Advocates of America’s sister company, Medical Recovery Services, can step in and help.

MBAA helps Americans learn to do certain things on their own to help protect themselves from abusive medical billing. MBAA offers training and self-help books for the person who wants to learn to be their own advocate against abusive medical billing. The company headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia offers training several times throughout the year. There are also at-home studies that can help the DIY advocate. Additionally, Pat Palmer, Founder of MBAA and Medical Recovery Services, has authored books designed to help patients protect themselves and be proactive.

Be Proactive

Being proactive is your first line of defense against erroneous charges in medical bills. If you have health insurance, it is imperative that you know exactly what your policy covers and what your responsibility will be. We receive numerous calls and emails at MBAA from former patients who have had a health insurance claim denied. Although many times the insurance company is at fault, there are times when the patient just was not familiar with his or her individual coverage.

Analyze Charges

Request a detailed, itemized statement of your medical charges to make sure all charges are correct. This shows if you have been charged more than once for an item or service or items that are not billable at all. However, sometimes a medical billing advocate is necessary during this step. Good, reputable advocates are familiar with how extra charges are hidden within other charges. However, this is also a chance for the patient to learn how to perform this step on his own. MBAA training can help prepare the patient for this step.

Lots of medical billing advocacy organizations exist to help reduce the errors on your medical bills. Make sure the advocacy group you choose is a reputable one who has plenty of experience dealing with compliance issues. Feel free to contact MBAA about any training or education you are seeking. You may also contact Medical Recovery Services for assistance in analyzing your medical bill for accuracy and fairness at 855-203-7058.


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Pat Palmer
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The MBAA team is dedicated to providing quality education for public and professional use, as well as top notch corporate training. If you would like to speak about a medical bill audit, we can help with that as well. Please fill out the form...

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6 responses to “When You Should Talk to a Medical Billing Advocate”

  1. Janice says:

    I have suffered from back pain, bulging disc for over ten years. The last three years have been a painful nightmare. I had am surgery that did nothing to help my pain. Now, I am stuck taking high levels of opiates as a way of life, I am addicted. All I want is the minimal invasive surgery, but medicaid does not cover it. My medicaid coverage is ending soon and I am scared bc to go off that medicine suddenly will be detrimental.
    I am so scared. I don’t want to have to live a life of pain, pill and pill taking every day. I want to be pain free and pill free. I am often depressed bc of this delima. Please. What csn I do?

    • Pat Palmer Pat Palmer says:

      Janice, thank you so much for reaching out. I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. I have found a couple of sites that might be helpful for you. These direct you to free clinics across the country. I don’t know what area you are in, but you can find the closest one to you and call them. They should be able to point you in the right direction of someone local who can help. http://www.freeclinics.com/

      Janice, when you do find a provider to help you, if you receive medical bills, please feel free to reach out to us. 855-203-7058

  2. Patricia says:

    I have a dozen docs with whom I have managed to maintain a zero balance despite my very limited income. The exception is my neurologist, a terrific doc I’ve been seeing for many years for ongoing treatments. The billing statements are nonsensical and I have called the billing department many times to get my balance, which I paid regularly. To my surprise, I was told at the office that I would not receive treatment unless I paid on a large amount of money allegedly owed and was required to sign a financial agreement to pay monthly for an undisclosed amount. I have paid this for over a year and the office staff still cannot tell me what I owe, if anything.
    I requested a complete record of my account dating back to 2014 and had it analyzed by a former Medicare biller. I immediately paid the $174 he said I owed to bring my account balance to $0. Then I received a bill for $550 and when I called the billing department I was told that I owe about $1,000 (about an entire month’s income for me). I was told that since 2014 I have “bad debts”, a term indicating that the charge no longer shows up on my bill (I still owe the money) and is placed in a separate category from the “balance”. The record showed that this was done after four months, regardless of insurance processing status, and I found what appear to be duplicate charges and other errors. So when I had called countless times asking for my “balance”, I was given that number with the comment “and you have bad debts.” When I asked if that meant that my payments were late I was told that they were, with no further explanation. My “balance” consistently showed as $0. These “bad debts” were sometimes in small amounts ($15, $3) which I would never leave unpaid. I was supposed to have instructed the staff, who did not understand the system either, that my payments were to be applied to these debts that I did not know existed. I have never heard of such a strange system. The office manager and billing manager now will not return my calls. If I don’t pay, my treatments may be discontinued. I now have insurance that covers treatments completely but am still receiving charges.

    • says:

      Hi, Patricia. Thanks so much for reaching out. Can you give us a call so that we can get a few more details? Our Consumer Division can be reached at 855-203-7058. Thanks so much!

  3. Naomi says:

    Hello, I had hysterctomy sugrey suddenly and no I am getting hit with different bills. My insurance is PPO and I am 20% responisble for the cost. I have tried to applied for fianclal assistant but have been denied. I have about $5000 worth of bills and unsure what my next step should be.

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