What To Do When Medical Bills Are Overwhelming
What steps should you take when medical bills begin to pile up following an accident? Whether you survive a car accident, suffer a slip and fall injury, or get bit by a dog, medical bills are sure to follow you home from the hospital. Even if you have the best insurance coverage money can buy, the thought of opening tomorrow’s mail can keep you up at night. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to alleviate the stress and even reduce the amount you owe.
Start With Errors
Medical billing errors are exceedingly common. Thus, the first thing you should do is examine the codes and every treatment provided. Confirm that there was no “upcoding,” which is billing for similar but more expensive treatments than you received. Scrutinize the bill for unbundling. This involves billing for multiple services that should have been billed under the same code. Likewise, pay close attention to higher rates paid for out-of-network providers that you didn’t authorize before receiving treatment.
Make Sure Insurance Was Properly Applied
Finding the fair market rate for the care you received is essential. Confirm that the amount billed to your insurance company is in line with industry standards for medical bills identified by the healthcare bluebook.
Gear Up To Negotiate
Once you confirm the services that were performed and the fair market value, you are in a position to negotiate a lower payment. Don’t hesitate to keep moving it up the ladder until you reach someone with the willingness and authority to negotiate a lower bill.
Often, if you are willing to pay all or a significant portion of the bill in cash, you can receive a considerable discount. If paying cash isn’t possible, negotiate payment terms. Establishing a payment plan can reduce your monthly payment and alleviate the burden of medical bills. However, be cautious that you don’t accept a plan saddled with onerous interest rates or prepayment penalties.
Don’t Hesitate To Turn It Over To Your Attorney
Your personal injury attorney can help negotiate your medical bills with your healthcare provider. Allowing your attorney to negotiate on your behalf can alleviate stress and allow you to focus on recovering from your injury.
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