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The 81st & 218th Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department (Adult Probation) is currently seeking a qualified applicant for the position of Supervision Officer for ATASCOSA COUNTY. Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board in Criminology, Corrections, Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement/Police Science, Counseling, Pre-Law, Social Work, Psychology, Sociology, Human Services Development, Public Administration, or a related field that has been approved by the Community Justice Assistance Division (CJAD), or one year of graduate study in one of the above mentioned fields, or one year experience in full-time casework, counseling, or community or group work that has been approved by CJAD.  This position requires some evening and/or weekend work. Salary: Negotiable, plus Regular State benefits. Closing Date: Resumes will be taken until November 4, 2014. Procedure: Applicants should submit a typed resume and copy of college transcript to: Mario Bazan, Director, 914 Main Street, Ste #120, Jourdanton, TX  78026 The 81st & 218th Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 
Wilson County ESD #3 is looking for PRN Paramedics. WCESD #3 is accepting applications for 12 and 24 hour shifts. To apply please visit our office, 111 State Highway 123 North, Stockdale, to inquire call 830-996-3087, or email your resume to Barbara.duncan@wcesd3.com.
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Savvy Senior


How to challenge your medical bills




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Disclaimer:
Jim Miller is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Jim Miller
June 20, 2012 | 1371 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.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (June 13, 2012)
 


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