Tuesday, April 07, 2009

80 Percent of Medical Bills Contain Errors -- Fighting Mistakes

Problems with medical billing errors drive me crazy. Not our bills, but the medical bills of relatives and friends. They complain to me all the time. I start by telling them--you are complaining to the wrong person. Then I explain to them what to do about it--pick up the phone and call whoever is billing you.

I learned a long time ago, you can negotiate down the price of any medical bill. To be honest, its the game they play. A medical bill is no different that negotiating with a painter on the price to paint your home. This is the way the system works, like it or not. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and say--I refuse to pay that amount. Experience tells me that you can get a 20 percent reduction just by opening your mouth--by being proactive. By the way, being proactive does not mean being mean. Start by remembering this, the person on the other end of the phone is just like you or me--they are doing a job. So treat them with respect. You can get more with sugar then you can with vinegar.

If you run into a brick wall, try the above then use my favorite word--Supervisor. You have to get to the person that "can" make the decision. This might mean saying supervisor six or more times before you get to the right person. My experience tells me that that person is usually nice---and can accommodate you.

I ran across a video that discusses hiring a medical advocate. It is well worth watching. Please remember this--you never shell out one read cent upfront when you hire an advocate--scam. If you pay, pay after you get results. Or, split a percent of the savings with them.

The video is on the ABC website and its a good one. For some reason ABC has not learned about "embed". So follow this link to watch the video.

I suggest you consider sharing this with your friends. Sooner or later they will need the education and information.

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Bob DeMarco is a citizen journalist, blogger, and Caregiver. In addition to being an experienced writer he taught at the University of Georgia , was an Associate Director and Limited Partner at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and a mentor. Bob currently resides in Delray Beach, FL where he cares for his mother, Dorothy, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He has written more than 500 articles with more than 11,000 links to his work on the Internet. His content has been syndicated on Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Pluck, Blog Critics, and a growing list of newspaper websites. Bob is actively seeking syndication and writing assignments.

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