Thursday, April 23, 2009

How to survive your hospital bills - MSN Money

How to survive your hospital bills - MSN Money: "Hospital bills are notorious for being riddled with mistakes. You may have been charged for drugs you never took or for a full day of care when you checked out at noon, or charged twice for a single procedure. You won't be able to tell all that, however, from the summary bill that's typically sent to patients. To get the goods, you need to ask for three documents (all of which you're entitled to):

* An itemized copy of your bill.
* A copy of your medical chart.
* A copy of your pharmacy ledger. This shows the drugs you were given during your stay.

Compare your chart and ledger to the itemized bill to see if there are any discrepancies. Also, look for charges that are the result of hospital error, such as an X-ray that had to be redone because a technician goofed. You shouldn't have to pay for someone else's mistakes.

Other errors, such as 'upcoding,' are more insidious. Upcoding is a fraud that involves pretending a condition is more serious than it actually was, in order to charge more."

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