Hospital Bills and Your Debt
Consumers Report conducted a survey that revealed that many patients accrued excessive debts for procedures and services they did not receive. Consumers Report surveyed 21,000 readers in regards to their satisfaction in relation to a hospital stay. Out of this group, 11,000 of them claimed to have reviewed their itemized bill. A full 5% of these patients discovered serious billing errors. In fact, those people who paid more than $2,000 in out of pocket costs were twice as likely to be billed incorrectly. If these additional charges are not addressed quickly, you will be expected to pay off the full amount of debt. A failure to do so could put your credit rating in jeopardy. Protect yourself by knowing what to look and for, and what to do if you find a mistake.
Here are several things to look for when you check your hospital charges. Charging for canceled work and over-coding - this happens when a patient is charged for a costlier procedure than they actually received. Charging for extra time in the operating room since they are generally billed by the hour. Unbundled charges occur when many charges are reduced if they are "bundled" together. The hospital charges separately which causes the bill goes up.
To protect yourself, keep records and details of procedures and medications and compare them to your bill. Check your insurance records. Your insurance company will provide a statement which you should cross check with your hospital bill. Be alert for common billing mistakes. Be aware of what your insurance coverage includes.
In the unfortunate event that hospitalization becomes necessary; protect yourself from inaccurate billing procedures. Billing errors can take a major toll on your credit and wrongfully increase your levels of debt. Be alert and contact the hospital billing department if an error is discovered. If they do not correct the problem to your satisfaction, you may need to contact an attorney or the consumer protection office of your state's Attorney General.