If you watch the evening news or read journalism from popular press outlets, then you’ve probably seen more than a few stories about families becoming financially crippled by unexpectedly high medical bills. Nearly everyone will become sick or injured at some point, and we can never plan for unexpected illnesses or accidents. Even if you’ve received a medical bill that will place a significant burden on your wallet, help is available. In today’s post, we’ll walk you through the basics of negotiating medical bills.
Bluberry Pi Consulting is here to be your Bay Area patient advocate. Whether you’ve received a high emergency room bill or you need to find a doctor’s office who will accept your insurance, we’re here to help you navigate the complexities of the healthcare industry. We customize our prices according to your needs and financial situation, so please get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you.
How Do I Negotiate a Medical Bill?
Whenever you go out to eat or make a purchase at your favorite clothing store, the price you pay is non-negotiable. Your food, clothing, and virtually every service you pay for in your daily life comes at a fixed price, so you’re probably wondering why medical bills are negotiable. The entire explanation is complicated and changes according to the circumstances of individual cases, but a primary reason is that medical billing and coding is often performed incorrectly. Some insurance providers will only cover certain charges, and an incorrectly coded charge can lead to you paying out-of-pocket prices for a service that should have been covered all along. While your medical bills may not be incorrectly coded each and every time you receive a high bill (many procedures are simply expensive), you have the right as a consumer to verify that each and every service you’re paying for was in fact rendered.
If you’re considering negotiating a medical bill, then it’s important that you have detailed records of your insurance paperwork, doctor’s visits, and anything else related to your treatment. Hospitals normally send out summarized bills with a total amount for you to pay, but you should always call the hospital’s billing department to request an itemized receipt. Even if you’re not able to decipher the coding, having this information is the first step in a successful medical bill negotiation. Make a note of everything that happens in relation to your bill, including your correspondence with billing departments. Ask for names, numbers, and even email addresses of the people you talk to. In addition to making follow-up calls much easier, you’ll also have a name to reference if you have to speak with a supervisor.
Stay tuned for part two of this series in which we’ll continue to provide you with medical bill negotiation tips. If you need help negotiating a high medical bill, then call Bluberry Pi Consulting today! As your dedicated patient advocate, we’ll help you come up with an individualized strategy that maximizes your chances of paying a lower bill.