Many patients have higher deductibles with their medical plans today than they did in the past. This means they have an interest in paying closer attention to the medical claims they receive. While many healthcare providers provide payment options intended to help the patient, before challenging a medical bill there are some key issues to keep in mind.
First you will want to ensure that you clearly understand all the charges. This means you may need to ask for a detailed bill, showing every service performed by your provider. The line item bill should also clearly indicate others the provider relied on for services such as lab results.
When you don’t understand a charge, it’s time to reach out to the provider. Start with a phone conversation to see if the office staff or the doctor can explain all services indicated on the statement. In many cases, this conversation can resolve concerns quickly.
In more complex situations, it may be necessary to follow up with other specialists either by phone or in writing. In that case, make sure you have thorough notes about your initial conversation. Be sure to note the name of the person you speak with, their position, the date and time of each call.
While you should pay close attention to your financial ability to pay for the care you have received, you will want to arm yourself with clear factual information prior to disputing a bill. Most healthcare providers want to provide quality of patient care at a competitive price.