Monday, September 26, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
Lost at LV Light It Up Ceremony: heart charm bracelet, necklace with arrow & heart, crown ring, and heart knot ring. All pieces are silver. Please contact Sheri, 210-833-8377.
Cute, friendly dog found in the Courthouse area. He obviously belongs to someone as he has a collar but no tags. Please call 210-355-2613 to claim him.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Immediately hiring Maintenance Electricians $22/$24 hr plus benefits in Kenedy, TX. Please call 432-661-6434 for more information
Smartt Move LLC now hiring CDL drivers, hourly pay, day work, benefits, insurance, etc. Call George 972-365-6326 or Todd 210-296-6272.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

South Texas Living


How to challenge your medical bills




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Jim Miller
June 20, 2012 | 1,813 views | Post a comment

Dear Savvy Senior,

I need some help understanding my medical bills from my knee replacement surgery earlier this year. My wife and I live on a pretty tight budget so I like to keep track of our costs as closely as possible. But the bills I’ve received are vague and confusing, and we think we’re being overcharged. What can you tell us?

Trying To Recover

Dear Trying,

Errors and overcharging have become so commonplace on medical bills today that double-checking them is a very smart move that may save you some money. Here are some tips and tools that can help.

Challenge Your Bills

According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, nine out of 10 hospital bills have errors on them, most of which are in the hospital’s favor. Bills from doctor’s offices and labs have mistakes too, but they tend to be fewer and further apart.

To help you get a handle on your medical bills and check for costly errors, the first thing you need to do is request an itemized statement from the hospital or health-care providers detailing the charges of the procedures, supplies, tests, and services they provided you. They are legally required to provide you with this information.

If the statement contains confusing billing codes or abbreviations that you don’t understand, call the billing office for an explanation. You can also look up most medical billing codes online by going to any online search engine and typing in “CPT” followed by the code number.

Once you receive and decode the statement, review it carefully and keep your eyes peeled for these mistakes:

•Double billing: Being charged twice for the same services, drugs, or supplies.

•Typos: Incorrect billing codes or dollar amounts.

•Canceled work: Charging for a test your doctor ordered, then canceled.

•Phantom services: Being charged for services, tests, or treatments that were never received.

•Up-coding: Inflated charges for medications and supplies.

•Incorrect length of stay: Most hospitals will charge for the admission day, but not for day of discharge. Be sure you’re not paying for both.

•Incorrect room charges: Being charged for a private room, even if you stayed in a semi-private room.

•Inflated operating room fees: Being billed for more time than was actually used. Compare the charge with your anesthesiologist’s records.

To make sure the charges on your bill are reasonably priced, use the Healthcare Blue Book at healthcarebluebook.com. This is a free resource that lets you look up the going rate of health-care costs in your area.

If you find errors or have questions about charges, contact your provider’s billing office and your insurer. If they don’t help you and the discrepancies are significant, you should consider getting help from a trained professional who specializes in analyzing medical bills and negotiates with health-care providers, insurers, and even collection agencies.

Most medical bill reviewing professionals charge an hourly fee -- somewhere between $50 and $200 per hour -- for their services, or they may work on a contingency basis, earning a commission of 25 percent to 35 percent of the amount they save you.

To find help, check out resources like Medical Billing Advocates of America (billadvocates.com), MedReview Solutions (medreviewsolutions.com), Hospital Bill Review (hospitalbillreview.com), and Medical Cost Advocate (medicalcostadvocate.com). You can find others by doing an Internet search under “hospital bill review.”

If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, another resource that may help is your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). They provide free personalized counseling and may be able to help you get a handle on your medical bills and Medicare coverage. To find a local SHIP counselor visit shiptalk.org, or call 1-800-677-1116.

Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior book. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

South Texas Living Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Apple Pie readers help Julia fill in the blanks (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cheap cell phone plans for seniors (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Come And Take It starts Sept. 30 (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Disc water pitcher (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DRT chapter plans meeting, new member class (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get ready to grill at show barn’s barbecue cook-off (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Old Town Day seeks vendors (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth VFD to serve up barbecued chicken (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Run and shine at Neon Sizzle 5K (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Spots open for Community Yard Sale (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Mary’s Fall Festival Sept. 25 (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Support FUMC youth at barbecue ‘fun’ raiser (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Teen MOPS plans upcoming meetings (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The root of many evils (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Uncovering local legends: The grave in the middle of the road (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. URBAN-15 seeks dancers, drummers (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Chicago Cub yearbooks (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy Country Music Show Sept. 20 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. How to prevent falls at home (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Krawietz family reunion (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia EMS plans Car Show (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Labatt Club donates to library, children (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Low voices and high hopes (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lutheran Church plans Sausage Dinner (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Medicaid covers mosquito repellent to fight Zika (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Metting family plans reunion (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Non-prescription drugs — the forgotten solution to rising health-care costs (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Relay For Life meeting is Sept. 15 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Seguin Cowboy Gathering is Sept. 17 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Smith Gas celebrates 88 years in business (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The life of Doris Billimek Moczygemba (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Trail ride donations surpass $1M (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Visit Remembering Our Fallen exhibit in Seguin (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Who will take care of you? (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. A life shaped by hard work and hunting (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. After-Dinner Chocolates (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cajun music Sept. 10 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate hearing aids, glasses, equipment (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Earn a certification in native landscaping (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy EquestFest 2016 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Getting Engaged? How to spend wisely (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mystery box (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nominate a nonprofit for Literacy Award (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Old medicine chest dates back to 1821 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Professional bull riding returns to Fredericksburg (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register to run for tacos Oct. 1 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Road Runners plan September outings (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Still time to buy tickets for Wild Game Dinner (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Take a tour of SS museum Sept. 17 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Take the H-E-B Slim Down challenge (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Vote for top flick at Manhattan Short Film Festival (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Welcome to The Greenline, a 43-acre linear park (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Cupping’ long before Phelps did it (September 7, 2016)
WCN Photo Contest HHF
WWII Clippings HHF
Coupon Q&A HHF-right
coupon home-rght
Voncille Bielefeld homeHeavenly Touch homeAllstate & McBride RealtyFriesenhahn Custom WeldingTriple R DC Experts

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.