Thursday, January 20, 2011

Detailed bills are a source of opportunity

$100opportunityDid you know it only takes one phone call to get an itemized copy of your hospital bill? Most consumers see the explanation of benefits from their insurance companies which shows how much was billed, allowable fees, what was paid, and what their responsibility is. All this information is at a very high level. By asking for an itemized (detailed) bill you can understand resources consumed during your inpatient or outpatient stay or surgery. It gives you a chance to ask questions on items that look unfamiliar to you. Not unlike like the itemized bills you receive from the veterinarian, auto shop, or grocery store.

Hospitals have billing departments that are knowledgeable and helpful in these areas. Reviewing your bill for accuracy and redundancy is in your best interest. After all, this is part of your earnings.

Should you find an item/service(s) that are in question - notify the health care organization and the insurance company to insure they are both aware. Contested charges need to be monitored until resolution so be sure to take notes of your conversation including names, dates, phone number, and the content of the discussion. Although these types of review take a little bit of time, they contribute toward keeping your benefit increases in check. Both parties will check the medical record for accuracy- if it's not documented it wasn't done. And in some cases, it could have been documented and still not done.

In the event you are the payer of record (self-insured or private pay); the impact of your review can identify charges that are questionable. It is in your own best interest to get involved as the dollars come directly from you.

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