July 9, 2013

Secrets For Winning A Medical Bill Dispute

Imagine being rushed to the hospital because of an unforeseen medical emergency. First of all, you’re worried about your health, because you don’t know what’s wrong with you or how easily it can be fixed.

But after you’ve been discharged and recuperating then the reality of the medical bills starts to set in. That is only one example of how stressful and devastating medical bills can be when a person is at their lowest point.

Duplicate Items

People often report that they see things like duplicate items and items that have been billed too much. The first step would be obviously to contact the billing department and report what you believe is being overbilled.

But if you feel that you are not getting the response that you want or any closer to resolving the dispute, it may be time to escalate the claim. Unfortunately it may take reporting your issue to the CFO of the hospital. If the hospital wants to avoid a legal headache, this may be the secret to settling your claim.

All Your Documentation

Make sure you have all your documentation in order and properly organized before making your claim. Keep and make copies of all correspondence and bills. In cases like these you can never be too documented as to why you’re feeling like you are being overcharged. This will only be an asset in a legal dispute.

If this step doesn’t work, then it may be time to go to the department of public health to plead your case. Most states have laws that require hospitals to pay back patients who have been overcharged. If you keep careful track of receipts, bills, invoices, and other documents then you have a case to go to the department of public health to not have to pay fees that were overcharged.

Medical Billing Errors,/strong>

It has been reported statistically that many medical bills contain errors, so this should be nothing new for the department of public health to encounter.

Also, remember, that in the state of California there is a ceiling too how much a hospital can charge a patient who is self-paying. Make sure if you’re a resident of California that you are not being overcharged if you don’t have insurance.

Outside Help

You can also seek outside help to dispute the bill if it is especially large and troubling. There are non-profits dedicated to helping people to lower their medical bills. Sometimes in stressful situations like these it’s worth seeking the help of an advocate to get lower bills.

Another secret of winning a medical billing dispute is knowing that there are certain bills you shouldn’t have to pay. This happens most commonly when insurance plans don’t cover as much as the doctor or hospital wants them to pay. They then bill the patient the difference.

Balance Billing

This is known as balance billing and is actually illegal. Many people don’t know this and pay the bill without realizing that they don’t have to pay it. This practice is so common that it’s projected that it collects 1 billion dollars a year! So it’s obviously very lucrative. So make sure to know your rights about balance billing. And if you believe that you are being hit with balance billing, contact your insurance company right away.

This is when seeking the help of a non-profit may also be of great assistance. They will be able to advocate for you in a way that you cannot, because they have greater knowledge of the medical system and how to navigate it. Patients are being taken advantage of, because they are not informed of what their rights are and don’t want to incur debt.

And above all, it’s always essential that a patient keeps careful track of all paperwork and a timeline of their medical billing cycle.

Kenneth Gray is a medical coding and billing expert from his years spent as the founder and CEO of A-Fordable Billing Solution a premiere medical billing and coding company.

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