5 Ways Hospitals may be overcharging you

February 2012, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

Hospitals... most of us have been to one, either to visit a close friend or relative, or to get administered as a patient. Either way, they're not exactly the kind of place one gets excited about considering the reason why you're there in the first place.

Hospitals... most of us have been to one, either to visit a close friend or relative, or to get administered as a patient. Either way, they're not exactly the kind of place one gets excited about considering the reason why you're there in the first place.

Nevertheless, regardless of what happens to the patient, high hospital costs seem to occur more often than not.

Sure, hardly anything is free in this world, but when it comes to exorbitant hospital bills, not everything may be as it seems...the hospital could either be deliberately or accidentally overcharging you.

The worst thing about this is that most people never know that they may be paying more than they actually should. The mindset seems to be one of “But I don’t know anything about the medical industry...how do I know what needs to be charged or not”.

I understand that this is a common perception among many people but like your local mechanic, you owe it to yourself to check that the ‘work’ you’re being charged for is not only legit, but also that it actually happened.

Regardless of whether hospitals are intending to overcharge you or not, the fact of the matter still remains...you could very well be getting ripped off by the hospital.

This article on the Daily Finance website, looks at the “5 Signs You're Getting Robbed at the Hospital”:

  1. Double Billing - Like any big business, hospitals have many different departments, specialists and people who may bridge the professional gap between different departments. Getting charged by a hospital department as well as the specialist in that field is wrong. It may just be accidental oversight by the hospital but it’s up to you check your bank account doesn’t get a double side-effect from this charge.
  2. Charged For Services Not Rendered - If you can’t check that you’re getting charged for services you’re actually receiving, then designate someone to do this for you. Got charged for an extra dose of treatment you never received? Take it up with the hospital accounts department.
  3. Worse Case Scenario Treatment - So you’ve gone into the hospital to have some tests done but you’re being charged for over-the-top scenarios/tests that just don’t make sense? If you’ve got the flu (and just the flu), you don’t exactly need the treatment required for bronchitis, so why charge for it in the first place! 
  4. Overcharging Just Because - Excessive bill charges for seemingly unjustified procedures. Don’t know what the going rate is? Simply check out the fee schedule search tool on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website to help you out.
  5. Out-Of-Network Doctors - Okay, this isn’t an easy one, especially in emergency situations. However, if you have the time and right frame of mind to ask, check that the doctor treating isn’t an out-of-network healthcare professional.
Hospitals are stressful environments, even in the accounts department so mistakes happen. Simply follow up the discrepancy with the accounts staff and they’ll ensure you receive the most accurate bill you can get.

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