Apr 7, 2009

80 Percent of Medical Bills Contain Errors -- Fighting Mistakes

Problems with medical billing errors drive me crazy. Not our bills, but the medical bills of relatives and friends. They complain to me all the time. I start by telling them--you are complaining to the wrong person. Then I explain to them what to do about it--pick up the phone and call whoever is billing you.

I learned a long time ago, you can negotiate down the price of any medical bill. To be honest, its the game they play. A medical bill is no different than negotiating with a painter on the price to paint your home. This is the way the system works, like it or not. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and say--I refuse to pay that amount. Experience tells me that you can get a 20 percent reduction just by opening your mouth--by being proactive. By the way, being proactive does not mean being mean. Start by remembering this, the person on the other end of the phone is just like you or me--they are doing a job. So treat them with respect. You can get more with sugar then you can with vinegar.

If you run into a brick wall, try the above then use my favorite word--Supervisor. You have to get to the person that "can" make the decision. This might mean saying supervisor six or more times before you get to the right person. My experience tells me that that person is usually nice---and can accommodate you.

I ran across a video that discusses hiring a medical advocate. It is well worth watching. Please remember this--you never shell out one red cent upfront when you hire an advocate--scam. If you pay, pay after you get results. Or, split a percent of the savings with them.

The video is on the ABC website and its a good one. For some reason ABC has not learned about "embed". So follow this link to watch the video.

I suggest you consider sharing this with your friends. Sooner or later they will need the education and information.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room