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Cut Health Care Costs: Check For Billing Errors

Ever go to the grocery store and get double billed on a box of macaroni and cheese? How about seeing an appetizer you never enjoyed on your restaurant bill? Those are like three dollar mistakes if you ever miss them. Now imagine if you missed a three hundred dollar procedure on a hospital bill (which are ridiculously obfuscated with codes and acronyms and written in some sort of alien shorthand), that’s a lot of missed appetizers and boxes of mac and cheese. Medical billing errors happen and they’re the subject of the fourth tip in CNN Money’s Fifty Ways To Cut Your Health-Care Costs.

They estimate that as many as 80% of hospital bills have errors and that amounts to a 25% increase, on average, in how much they’re charging. Personally, I think this is absolutely ludicrous considering they have computers but when you consider nurses work in shifts of twelve hours plus, three days straight (I don’t know the typical hours of anyone else in the medical profession, but I bet it’s ridiculous) it’s not surprising to see key-in errors (especially if they have to convert from English into alien short hand). So, they recommend that you keep a log of every test and medication you get and check it against your file, which can be ordered from the billing office. Request fixes via certified letter and make a copy of everything.

If you want to know more, check out this article on fighting medical billing errors [3].

Source: CNN Money [4]