How much you can save on medical bills from advocates and negotiators.
The amount of savings a client will experience from a medical billing negotiator or advocate will vary. However, at the end of the day, you will almost always experience some type of savings on your medical expenses.
There are some companies that will work on a contingency basis. So that means that the negotiator or advocate will not charge you anything unless they are able to successfully save you money. Many companies will also require that your hospital or medical bills meet a certain threshold. They may not take on clients with small dollar amounts due. For example, you may need to have a minimum of $250 due on a bill in order to have them sign you up as a client.
How do I sign up?
The process to sign up or apply to a company will also vary. Sometimes you can use the website of the negotiating company to submit your claim. There are other instances in which you may need to print an application and mail it or fax it in. In either case, plan on providing full details on your situations, including copies of the medical bills, information on the procedure provided, dates of service, and more. The medical billing advocate or negotiator needs to have a clear situation and understanding of what happened and why. They need to have full disclosure on your expenses incurred.
How much can I save from a negotiator?
The exact amount of savings will vary. Clients of various medical bill negotiating and advocate companies are reporting saving anywhere from 5 to 80% on their medical bills. So the range of potential savings is very wide and it may be realistic to expect something in the middle of that range. However there will almost always be some type of savings on your costs by using a medical bill negotiating service.
The service and approach is usually successful according to recent studies. While that range of savings indicated above is large, it seems that the most common and widely report savings is around the 30% range. Some examples of the amount of typical savings include the following:
- Savings of 10 – 80% at emergency and surgery centers
- 20-37% for radiology and imaging medical bills
- 15 – 33% for anesthesia treatments
- 5 – 48% on dialysis treatment
These projected saving do not include any billing errors that may be found. Medical providers, physician offices, and hospitals are notorious for making errors on a patient’s account. When this occurs a medical billing advocate or negotiator will also be on the lookout for these.
How does the medical bill negotiating process work?
Once you sign up and the company decides you have a case, they will begin the process of saving you money. One of the key steps of this process is the data they have on similar procedures, operations, or medical expenses that have been incurred by others. They use that information to compare the prices for the same services at different hospitals, medical facilities, and other health providers in the same geographical area as where you received your health care services.
If, after reviewing the data they have collected and their records, they find that there are lower prices for similar types of health care services, the medical bill negotiator or advocate will contact the health provider of the claim. If you select the right company then they may already have a relationship in place with the doctor, hospital, or health care provider. If they do, that may help your case become successful. Regardless, the company you are a client of will attempt to negotiate a lower rate for your expenses.
What are fees involved for medical billing advocates or negotiators?
If you signed up for a contingency payment plan, and if the negotiator or advocate was successful, you will generally split the savings with the company you employed to contest your bills. The split is usually 70/30. What that means is that usually you will receive 70% of the savings, and the company that negotiated the discount will receive the balance of 30%. However these breakouts will vary based upon the specifics of your case and contract. What make a contingency arrangement so appealing is that if the negotiation wasn’t successful, the individual doesn’t have to pay any money for the service.