Always, always, always request an itemized bill. An itemized bill is a bill that individually outlines each charge rather than “bundling” services into one big code for charging. Now, you should have also received an “Explanation of Benefits” if you have insurance (it’s not a bill, but it kind of looks like one.) Compare the explanation of benefits, the itemized bill, and the treatment you actually received. Does it all line up? The more charges you have, the more likely you are to find errors. Make a list of ANYTHING you do not understand and then call the provider to get an explanation. Check the billing codes that are used. Do they match up? Was there a test or procedure that was actually cancelled? You do not need to know what they mean to check if they match up.
After you have thoroughly reviewed your explanation of benefits and itemized bill, call your biller with your questions. Here are common questions that you should ask:
“What does the medical terminology/code ‘XXXXX’ mean?”
“What was the purpose of treatment ‘XXXXX’?”
“Why was treatment ‘XXXXX’ necessary given my situation?”
“I remember that ‘XXXXX’ happened when I was at your facility; where is that accounted for in this bill?”
“Can you please tell me the dates and times of my stay at your facility?”
It is worth the time to double-check your bill to find errors. If you find an error, make sure it is resolved.
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