For those of us that have the lucky experience of staying in the hospital for any extended period of time now all too often what it means to get a bill in the mail, often times before you even get home. To make matters worse there are charges on your statement for doctor’s you don’t even remember seeing; tests you don’t remember, I mean seriously, you can’t remember being probed for a blood sample at 2am by a Dr. Jones?? But every year hundreds, if not thousands of individuals receive bills that are not only ungodly complicated by grossly in excess of what the patient thinks they should be paying.

In light of this it is very important, if not imperative, to have someone actually sit down with you and go over every itemized line in your billing statement. Many hospitals have their own independent billing department whose sole job in life is to spend eight hours a day explaining the most intricate components of a hospital’s bills.

The hospital staff is not evil (although waking someone up every two hours in the middle of the night to draw blood might actually qualify); they are not here to steal your money (again, no comments from the peanut gallery) they are hard working people like you and I. Often times hospitals are overcrowded and understaffed. As a result many staff members do not have the time to double check their entries that will end up as charges on your hospital bill. Therefore it is important to keep this in mind; going into the hospital billing office with this attitude will make the entire experience more pleasant for everyone.

Do not be afraid to contact the hospital or even the doctor themselves if you want to inquire as to the charges on your bill. Medicine is a business, a fact that is become all to apparent these days. Hospitals, medical staff and medical companies are in business to make money, it is the dirtly little secret of the medical profession. Not that there is anything wrong with doctor’s or hospital’s getting paid for what they are doing, they just have to make sure that it’s fair. Therefore, if you have lingering questions about your bill and the charges on it sit down and talk with your doctor. Ask him questions, have him take a look at the bill and confirm that yes Dr. Jones did take a urine sample at 1:45 am; if your doctor sees something that shouldn’t be there or that is inaccurate, this little visit with him or her can end up saving you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars that you would have otherwise paid to the hospital.

If you still have unanswered questions or unresolved issues with your bill after having reviewed it several times then contact your medical insurance company. They don?t want to overpay either so they will be happy to assist you if you think that you are being overcharged.

By Haadi