Medical Billing Questions Answered
I love this podcast. It started out over a year ago almost on a dare from some of my blog friends, but it’s grown into a passion project for me. It’s led clients to me, it’s developed friendships for me, but more than anything, I love this podcast because I have the ability to educate and transform people’s financial lives through it; and today’s episode is a great example of why I love this podcast.
One of my private Facebook group listeners asked me to talk about medical billing on the show and with staggering statistics like 64 million consumers with medical bill collections on their credit reports, I can understand why. So, I immediately reached out to an expert in this field, Pat Palmer, founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America, and I was not disappointed by Pat’s knowledge and advice for how to handle medical bills and disputes. It’s my 79th show and one of the most important to me from an informational perspective. I hope you’ll listen and know that you need to advocate for yourself where medical bills are concerned because it will literally save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?
PAT — A Strawberry Daiquiri
SHANNON — Vodka & soda with a splash of cranberry (called The Ponytail in Texas)
- Over 64 million consumers have medical collections on their credit report.
- Pat started her company after having frustrations with being charged for hospital business items unrelated to her daughter’s medical bills.
- She argued those charges and was able to get them taken off the bills.
- Often times, people have no clue what they are being billed for.
- Before you consider making any payments, ask for the detailed itemized statement of your bill; you are entitled to it.
- Next, analyze your bill, whether you have medical knowledge or not, to try and discover unwarranted charges.
- If you have questions about the coding used on your bill, the hospital’s nurse station is often very helpful in explaining the items.
- Note that a charge on your bill for something routinely used or given is not billable because the charge is already factored into some other charge on your bill.
- If you have questions about your bill, send them to the director of billing services to receive answers; they are often required to respond in 15 days.
- Pat recommends looking for someone who won’t add an extra expense to what you already owe to advocate on your behalf if your medical bill is hard to understand.
- Advocates in Pat’s company save patients an average of 17% or higher.
- Pat says 8 out of 10 bills that come to her company contain errors.
- Allowing this abusive billing to happen raises the premiums on healthcare costs.
- There are always options for how you repay your medical bills including:
- Prompt Pay
- Payment Plans
- Do all the work before your final bill comes around, and don’t just accept that bill as absolutely final.
- FINAL TAKEAWAYS: Ask for the itemized statement of every bill you get and commit the time and energy to analyzing your bills to find areas where you can save!
- RESOURCES: http://billadvocates.com/educational-products/ where Pat’s book The Medical Bill Survival Guide is available for purchase!
RANDOM 3 QUESTIONS
- What is your favorite thing to do on your downtime?
- What’s a book that you could read over and over again?
- Are you a dessert person or an appetizer person?
Have you ever been overcharged on a medical bill? Did you have a medical bill go to collections? Do you examine all of your medical bills before paying them?