3 Things to Double Check on Your Hospital Bill

Written by on October 26, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page


If you have recently received the bill for the treatment and care that you received in a hospital, you may be flabbergasted by the grand total of your stay. Depending on the type of services that you received, the length of time you spent in the hospital and more, it is possible that the grand total of your hospital expenses tallies into a five or even six digit figure.

While you may have health insurance that will pay for some of these charges, a fair portion of the charges will fall onto your shoulders to pay because of your deductible and co-pay. It is common for errors to be found on hospital bills, so it makes sense for you to review your hospital bill carefully. Here are three things that you will want to pay careful attention to as you review your bill.

Actual Services That You Received

Most hospital bills are generated through the input of medical billing codes. If the person entering the billing codes enters even one number incorrectly, the result could be a significant overcharge on your bill. While entering the medical codes incorrectly can be one source of billing error, another source may be that the hospital stated that you received services that you actually did not.

Perhaps you were going to receive a certain type of treatment or procedure, but it was decided at the last minute that a different procedure would be best. Review each of the services listed on the statement to ensure they are correct.

Charges for Reusable Equipment

Hospitals will charge you for the equipment and supplies that you used, and this may include disposable bed pans, IV tubing and more. However, hospitals are not permitted to charge you for reusable items, such as the use of a specialized bed, a heating pad or other similar items.

As you read through your hospital bill, you likely will not see hospital equipment and supplies categorized as “reusable” or “disposable,” so you may need to do more research to determine what these charges are. You can research the items online, ask a medical professional who is a close friend or family member with assistance or contact the hospital’s billing department for more information.

Medications You Received

In most medical facilities, you are permitted to bring your own medication from home, but the medication will need to be in its original container. This can save you a considerable amount of money. Some nurses may have even recommended that you fill a prescription through the hospital pharmacy rather than have them bring you prescription medication in an effort to help you save money.

However, you should review your bill to ensure that you were not charged for medication that you brought into the facility. There is a possibility that the note in your chart that indicated when you took medication and what type and amount was taken was translated into an expense on your bill.

It can take time and effort to fully review each line item on your hospital bill. However, many mistakes are made on hospital bills, and these mistakes often result in an unnecessary and often exceptionally high inflation of your total hospital charges. By reviewing these charges carefully today, researching them online when necessary and asking for more clarification about what the charges are for, you may discover errors on your own hospital bill.

If you discover errors, you will need to contact the hospital’s billing department to dispute the charge. Most disputed charges can easily be corrected with a simple review of your medical records.

This is a guest post.  Darcy Keenan is a hospital administrator and guest author at BestDegreePrograms.org, where she contributed to the guide to the best mha degree programs.


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