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Sanford-Brown College - Atlanta Instructor gives advice on Medical Billing Mistakes

April 25, 2012 General, SBC-Atlanta 0 Comments

By BETH GALVIN/myfoxatlanta

If you've ever had an unexpected medical emergency, you know what happens next. Your mailbox quickly fills us with medical bills. Before you pull out your checkbook, take a very close look at those bills. A lot of them are riddled with mistakes that could be costing you money.

This actually happens quite a lot. You may get billed for procedures you didn't have - or drugs you didn't receive. You can be double or triple charged.  So we talked to a billing expert about mistakes to watch for on your medical bills.

You land in the emergency room, or, even more expensive, the operating room! Then the bills start pouring in for doctors and treatments and medications you might not even remember.

Sanford Brown College Inststructor Paulette McIntosh Brown says step one: ask for an itemized bill that breaks down your charges.

“First thing, check if your name is on there correctly. Check if your doctor's name is who he is or who she is, check yourr date of birth, check yourr date of service,” said Brown.

Next, look for possible mistakes. They could include double charges, clerical errors, misplaced decimal points. You could even get charged for someone else's medical procedures.

“They know that I went to the cardiologist, I didn't go to the Ob-Gyn, so they know how to search for their mistakes,” said Brown.

Brown says when you go to the doctor, save your paperwork and write down whom you saw and what you had done. You may need information down the road to contest a questionable charge. 

“I should know what I'm being billed for because I would hate to think somebody's padding my bill, somebody's charging for something that I didn't do,” said Brown.

If you get hit with a huge medical bill, it may be time to think about hiring a medical billing advocate. They can look for mistakes. And they can negotiate with your insurance provider or hospital for you. They usually charge an hourly fee, along with a percentage of the money you save.

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