If you ever find yourself in a hospital, always check your bill once you get out. A few years ago, I found myself in the hospital for a few hours for something minor. My insurance took care of mostly everything without a problem. I checked my explanation of benefits from the insurance, and I noticed something odd. At two different times, the hospital charged the insurance company for the same thing. Two different bills were submitted for the same procedure.
Luckilly, the insurance company caught the error, but sometimes these mistakes go unnoticed. It can be more damaging if the charge is for something not covered or partially covered by insurance.
Yahoo Finance offers suggestions on what to look for, in addition to duplicate billing. Always check to make sure the description on the bill matches exactly the service performed or product received. Note the number of days in the hospital and the amount of time in the operating
room. Make sure you’re not being billed for a more expensive item (such as brand-name drugs instead of generic).
If you find discrepencies, contact the provider and insurer If you can’t get anywhere, there are organizations that can help (who will take a significant fee from the amount of money they save you). One example is the Medical Billing Advocates of America.
If you’ve ever been wrongfully billed for treatment and have a story to share, feel free. Comments are always open.
Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published September 21, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.