Ideally, when you have just had a medical treatment or going through a medical procedure, all you should be concentrating on is recovery and not on how you will cover the bills. For some, it’s harder to recover from the emergency room bill than from the actual illness or injury itself.
Here are things you can do to make it easier to reduce your medical bills.
Request an itemized statement. Always ask for an itemized bill. The hospital owes you a bill that provides you with details of what services were provided and how much each of them cost.
Check your statement. Emergency rooms are busy places. During a busy day, doctors, nurses, and aides rush to keep up with patients. It is easy for their memory to get overloaded. They can possibly make a mistake in making your bills. Do check your statement because your bill might include items that you did not use.
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Have your Doctor Review your Statement. Doctors and nurses are more experienced. Take their help in reviewing your statement. They can easily spot errors in your bills. They can notice things that would not have been used on a patient with that particular medical condition. They can also easily notice if anything anywhere is double billed.
Ask the Hospital To Audit your Bill. The hospital staffs are most likely to find errors in the bill. Hospitals routinely audit bills to make sure their system is working in properly. Ask to have your bill audited.
Consider getting a Financial Counselor. If you do not know how to negotiate your medical bills, consider getting a financial counselor. They work for government organizations or non-profits. One such organization is the Patient Advocate Foundation. They are trained to negotiate on behalf of a patient with a medical organization.
Talk with the Department Manager. There are times when the medical bill becomes a huge issue. If you really want them to help you explain them your desire to pay, but the inability to handle a big bill. If they can reduce the bill. If they can’t reduce the bills, ask about a reduction plan. Just don’t be confrontational. Be calm.
Talk with the Billing Department. If the department manager refuses to provide a reduction plan, speak to the billing department. The billing department and department manager have different functions and could possibly be working under different instructions.
Be Willing to Provide Some Information about your finances. You do not need to give all the details to the hospital. A copy of your pay stub or tax return should be enough.
Write and ask for an Adjustment. Mention clearly that you do not have a Medicare Supplemental Plan if you do not have one. Some hospitals have special rates for those who are not covered by insurance or medical plans.
Pay a little bit regularly. To make it easier for yourself and hospital continue to make small, regular preferably monthly payments.
With the above-mentioned ways, you can get a leg up to negotiate your medical bills.