Errors in medical billing aren’t uncommon, which is why it’s important to examine each bill carefully. When you do identify a discrepancy, it’s up to you to try to establish how it happened and you will need to be able to prove that it is an error. Once you can do this, you should approach the matter in a way that doesn’t seek to lay blame. By taking the approach that this was an honest billing mistake and communicating with billing representatives in that way, you will get further in resolving the issue.
Begin by Calling the Office
Whether you’re dealing with a bill from a doctor’s private practice or a bill from a hospital, the process will be the same. You’ll have to start making phone calls and it’s very likely that your first call won’t get you very far. You’ll have to be persistent in asking to speak with the doctor or a supervisor in the billing department. These are the only people with the authority to explain your bill or make changes in the event of a genuine error.
Keep Accurate Documentation
From your very first phone call, it’s important that you keep accurate records of your exchanges. This includes writing down the name of any representatives you speak with along with their extension numbers. Jot down the time and day of each call as well. This way, when you need to bring up a fact that was related to you in a previous call, you have the contact information necessary to substantiate your claim.
Request an Itemized Bill
This is something you should always do, but people often forget to take this step until they notice something amiss. Reviewing an itemized bill is important, because it will reveal everything that has been charged to your account. If your treatment required the use of five bags of saline solution, the bill will list each bag, the size of the bag, and the cost per bag. In this way, an itemized bill will help you uncover exactly where the discrepancy occurred.
Successfully disputing an error on a medical bill is going to require patience and diligence on your part. While it is a frustrating situation, letting your emotions get the better of you will only sabotage your efforts. You’ll have much more success, when you can provide documentation to prove that a mistake was made.