We all know that healthcare isn’t cheap, but how often do you scrutinize your bills for errors?
As it turns out, you definitely should be reviewing those bills when they arrive. About 80 percent of all medical bills contain errors. On bills totaling $10,000 or more, the average mistake can cost you more than $1,300.
And of course, it’s not just you who who gets stuck with the bill. Bills that contain errors are more likely to be rejected by health insurance companies, but even if your policy does pay the bill, the higher costs are essentially passed on to all consumers.
What causes medical billing errors? Often these errors originate from simple mistakes during the data entry process. Names or policy numbers can be entered incorrectly, for example. Other times, a poor explanation of an insurance company’s coverage can result in overcharges.
Another common culprit is errors in diagnostic code. If the wrong code for a procedure is entered, either due to misunderstanding or a simple typo, this can result in charges for more expensive procedures or medications that were not actually performed.
The end result. The end result, of course, is that you could be paying more out-of-pocket than you should be, for services that weren’t actually performed. When insurance companies are overcharged, the price of healthcare increases for everyone. If your health insurance company does catch the overcharge, they could reject the bill.
This is why you should always check every medical bill, as soon as it arrives, to be sure the bill matches all services, procedures, and medications that you received. Notify the physician’s office of any potential discrepancies, or call your insurance company to share your concern.