Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library

Lower Your Medical Bills By Finding Medical & Hospital Bill Errors

By Philip L. Franckel, Esq.

If you have been admitted to a hospital and find yourself owing a substantial amount of money there are a few things you can do to substantially reduce your bills. With a little perseverance and investment of time, you can uncover costly overcharging errors you're not responsible for. After you're done, you can negotiate what you legitimately owe and the payment terms.

Here's what to do:

Request both the hospital and your insurance company to audit the hospital and doctor bills.

Demand an itemized bill (you are legally entitled to an itemized bill if you request one) and review your self for the following:

Duplicate Billing: Make sure you haven't been charged twice for the same service, supplies or medications.

Number of Days in the Hospital: Check the dates of your admission and discharge. Most hospitals will charge for your admission day, but not for your day of discharge. If you have been charged for the day of discharge, ask the hospital to waive the charge for that day.

Incorrect Room Charges: If you were in a semi-private room, make sure you're not being charged for a private room.

Operating Room: It's not uncommon for hospitals to bill for more operating room time than you actually used. Compare the charge with your anesthesiologist's records.

Unbundled Charges: This is when a group of tests are billed individually, when they should have been billed together. Surgical procedures and tests frequently consist of several parts. For instance, you could have received a cervical MRI and a lumbar MRI. A hospital or MRI facility can bill $1,200 for each MRI if they were done at different times, however, if they were performed on the same day the total amount that the facility will be paid by an insurance company may be only $1,400 or $1,800 instead of $2,400. Many times, MRI's will be scheduled on different days, frequently one day after the other, in order to bill at the higher rate. Do not allow a hospital or MRI facility to charge you the full price if they did this. An example of a procedure could be where you fractured two fingers or two ribs and you were charged the full price to set each finger or rib individually, instead of the full price to set one finger or rib and a discounted price for the second finger or rib.

Up Selling: This occurs when a doctor orders a generic drug which is readily available, but the hospital provides you with a more costly brand name drug without your knowledge or consent and bills you for the more costly medication. Since you are not an expert at determining whether or not a drug use generic and you may not have even been in a mental condition to make that determination; your doctor ordered the generic drug; and it was readily available in the hospital drug store, you are not responsible for the increased charge.

Fraudulent Coding Also Called Up Coding: Hospitals may change the charge for a lower cost service or medication to one that's more costly. For instance, a doctor may order a generic drug, but the hospital "accidentally" bills the patient for a much more expensive brand name drug when the generic is actually provided. If done intentionally, this is fraud. Where this occurs several times on one bill or occurs with multiple patients, this could constitute intent.

Fraudulent Coding/Weird Charges/Fake Language: Hospitals may invent confusing language to cheat patients. They use medical sounding names for everyday items and charge you an astronomical price. For example, an "oral administration fee" is really a charge for the nurse handing you pills. You do not have to pay for that because it is part of the room and board. Other items that have been reported as appearing on hospital bills are: "disposable mucous recovery systems" (a box of Kleenex tissues); "Thermal therapy" (a plastic bag filled with ice); "Gauze collection bag" (a trash bag); and finally, a patient who was given a teddy bear by the hospital and charged for a "cough support device." Not only is this fraud, but if it wasn't requested, the teddy bear was a gift.

Keystroke Error: A computer operator accidentally hits the wrong key on a keyboard which can result in an incorrect charge or a charge for a service you didn't get.

Canceled Services: You may have been charged for expensive services or tests which your physician ordered and then canceled or for some reason was never rendered.

Assignment: Check to see if the hospital or doctor accepts assignment of your insurance payment. This means that the hospital or doctor is allowed to bill your medical insurance and to receive payment directly by your insurance company, without a check going to you. This is a good thing. You can find out if the medical provider accepts assignment by asking your insurance company. When a hospital or doctor accepts an assignment, you are assigning to the hospital or doctor, your right to the reimbursement check from your insurance company. By accepting assignment, the medical provider is now in your position and has whatever legal rights you had to collect the payment, and no more. When accepting assignment, a hospital or doctor may not legally seek any payment from you. This means that if the medical provider bills your insurance company for $3,682 and you were only entitled to be reimbursed $1,136, the medical provider must accept this amount and you are not responsible for the remainder of the bill.

Why do hospitals and doctors accept assignment? Because when the check goes to the patient, many patients keep the money which requires the hospital or doctor to sue the patient. Accepting assignment allows the medical provider to know that they will be paid and to avoid the costs of litigation if the medical provider must sue the patient to recover payment for services rendered.

Negotiating: Finally, after eliminating all of the errors you can find, try negotiating your bill. If you are able to pay a lump sum settlement to the hospital, you can usually negotiate the amount you owe. You should be able to deduct at from one third to one half of the bill, which is probably the amount that the hospital would have to pay a lawyer to collect a fee from you. Keep in mind, that collection agencies routinely settle bills for 50%. Depending upon your income, you may even be able to settle for as little as 10%. If you are unable to pay a lump sum settlement, you should be able to negotiate a payout over a period of years. If you do not earn much money, you can remind your medical provider that if they obtain a judgment against you, the court may award as little as $25 per month, even if the bill is thousands of dollars.

About The Author
Philip L. Franckel, Esq., is the founder of HURT911, an accident and injury research web site for people hurt in an accident and personal injury lawyers. Mr. Franckel also publishes articles on Lawyer Advertising at


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd