8 Out of 10 Medical Bills May Contain Errors
Thursday, November 01, 2007
There's an excellent article in the Washington Post about how to read hospital medical bills so you can determine if they are accurate. Inaccurate hospital bills can cost you money; either you end up paying more than you should, or somebody else may be using your benefits (medical fraud). Some tips from the article:
"Reviewing your EOB before you get a bill is the best way to track your medical expenses. If your insurer offers you the ability to review your EOBs online, sign up; if you can receive e-mail alerts, even better. Susan Johnson, a senior consultant at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, advises checking that the name, address, insurance group and identification numbers are correct. If they are inaccurate, it might mean that you have received someone else's EOB by mistake, or, more worryingly, that someone is using your health benefits without your consent."
"Next, check the claim activity to ensure that the name of the health care provider, services rendered and dates tally with your recollection. "Sometimes you can get billed for tests you didn't have," says Johnson. Often this is due to a clerical error; however, multiple procedures for which you have no memory of receiving and/or surprisingly high charges can signal insurance fraud."
All medical plans offer an appeals process. It's best to use it and to submit any appeal requests in writing. Often, you may need a the services of a medical bill advocate. This article offers plenty of useful advice.
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