Find medical bill errors.
Below you will find some of the best tips to follow in order to discover medical billing errors. A number of studies show that the majority of healthcare as well as insurance bills that consumers need to pay will have some type of overcharge or error on them. Find information, suggestions, and tips, all of which can help people improve their understanding of medical as well as hospital bills.
Errors can and do occur on all sorts of bills. Your health insurance company, whether it is a private insurance company or a government plan such as Medicaid, may overcharge you. Or if the medical bill is coming directly from the provider (doctor, hospital, dentists, etc.) those too can have errors.
Steps to take to identify errors in your medical bills
The first, and probably most important step to follow, is you need to ask for an itemized billing statement of all your charges. In order for this process to work you need to have that level of detail. All hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and other healthcare providers will provide you with, upon request, an itemized hospital or medical bill that will detail the charges for all the individual procedures, tests, supplies, medications, and services.
Closely review your medical bills for services, medications, or anything else that was never received. In other words, make sure that you received every treatment, service, and medication that you were billed for. Throughout the course of your hospital or doctor visit, you need to keep a log of your treatments received, or if you can't do this, then ask a friend or family member to this while you are in the hospital.
Be on the lookout for duplicate billing, which is maybe the most common type of error. Ensure you have not been charged twice for the same medical service, supply, or prescription drugs.
Understand the terminology. An outside resource can help. For how to help decipher the coding on your medical bill, you may want to use a third party website. Try www.online-medical-dictionary .org, which is a free medical dictionary. If you need information about a laboratory test or procedure and why it was needed for your treatment, go to www.labtestsonline.org.
The process and terminology is very complicated. You may need help. Another option is to look into whether a medical bill advocate can help. They will review your bills and only charge you a percent of any savings they find. More information medical bill advocates.
Another not so well known tip to find a medical billing error is to compare the explanation of benefits provided with the billing statements you received. Then be sure to cross-check the health insurance company's explanation of benefits statements with those itemized bills that you received from the doctors and hospital.
Watch for upcoding on your bills, which is when sometimes charges on your medical bills can be inflated. This can occur when your doctor prescribes a generic prescription drug, but the medical bill has you paying for a more expensive, brand-name drug you didn't receive.
As simple as this may sound, verify the dates of your hospital stay or the treatments you are being charged for. As sometimes you can be charged for extra hours or days! You need to verify the dates of both your admission and discharge from the facility, and be sure you were not charged for the discharge day as most hospitals have it as their standard process that they will charge you for your admission day, but not the day you were discharged.
Errors can occur from incorrect treatment codes or patient information. Your insurance company may miscode a treatment or service provided by the doctor or even dentist. Or, in some cases, the information about the patient is incorrect, such as an error in your health insurance plan or coverage amounts.
Ensure you were not charged for canceled work. If your medical provider or doctor ordered for you, then subsequently canceled a service, or a test, or some other item that maybe you weren't able to get because you were too ill, or equipment failure, make sure you weren't charged for the canceled service.
Closely examine your operating and hospital room charges. For example, if you were in a semi-private hospital room, ensure you were not charged a higher price for a private room. Or maybe you did ask for a semi-private room but one wasn't available for you, so ensure you were not charged anyway for that private room. Also, make sure you weren't charged, or double billed, for more medication than anesthesiologist records show you received in the operating room, and ensure the same with other drugs in the hospital room.
As you can probably tell, the process is complicated. If you can't find any errors, then yet another solution is to look into whether a charity or other non-profit organization can help you with paying for medical bills or health care services. Some of these organization have assistance they can provide or at least refer patients. More on charity services that help with bills.