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Sunday, June 16, 2013

What's On YOUR Hospital Bill?

Hospital bills are often taken for granted, especially by patients who have health insurance. However, some of this cost is absorbed by the patient in the form of deductibles and co-pays. If it's coming out of your pocket, wouldn't you want to know what you're paying for?

First, you need to ask for an itemized hospital bill. This will list the charges for every drug, supply, medical device and service that was rendered to you as a patient during your hospital stay. The next step is to examine every item on the bill and look for items that appear to be overcharges or mistakes. Here are some examples of what to look for:

  • $15 per pill for Tylenol - out-of-hospital cost = $10 for 100 pills
  • $8 for a box of tissues - real world cost = $2.50
  • $53 for surgical gloves - real world cost = $.17
  • $10 for a plastic cup used to give medicine - real world cost = $.09
  • $6.25 each time the nurse administers medicine - actual cost = $0
  • $23 per cotton swab - actual cost = $3.19 for a whole box of 375 swabs

Seriously? These are real costs collected from the International Federation of Health Plans, a global insurance trade association that collects hospital cost data on more than 100 insurers in 25 countries.

The next step is to challenge the costs that seem to be out of the ordinary. They might be mistakes or overcharges, but you have a right to not only ask but request corrections on errors.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.
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