How many people take the time to truly dissect medical bills after they arrive? Many of us just assume they are correct as we briefly scan over them. However, a high percentage of errors are more common than not according to experts. In 2019, medical watchdogs found 80% of medical bills are coded wrong, resulting in undeserved charges for consumers. Therefore, it pays to be vigilant about what to look for before paying medical bills to avoid those unhappy surprises later.
The easiest place to start is carefully examining the medical bill for information accuracy. Make sure your personal information and all the numbers from your insurance match up with the ones showing on the bill. A claim can get rejected if even one of those numbers is missing or wrong. Equally important, you also may check the medical insurer’s address and information match up as well because mistakes can happen there too.
It also is possible that the medical bill was sent before the insurance company dealt with it. In other words, call your insurance company before automatically assuming you are responsible for the amount of that charge. The service could have been covered as a part of your plan.
Another of the things to look for before paying medical bills is checking the date of service, location of that service and the procedures performed. It is not farfetched to discover coding errors. You may find tests or possibly medications that you never had, but appear on your bill.
To give you an example, I had a blood test once done locally, but the bill was rejected out of the network because the lab that was in my plan sent it out of state. This was ridiculous since this was a common blood test, but this lab sent it the next state regardless. After several phone calls from the lab to the medical insurer, I finally got rid of the charge, which should have been covered in the first place.
What else to look for before paying medical bills is learning how to research those confusing medical billing codes. In case, you have been denied coverage or the charge appears too outrageous, there could be a simple medical coding error. You always should call your insurance company or doctor’s office that billed for an explanation, but there is an easier way. You can go to findacode.com and type the code into their code search tool. This way you avoid all the hassles of waiting on hold and trying to get your answers without wasting your entire day.