Never Over Pay: How To Fight a Discrepancy on Your Medical Bill

Despite their best efforts, those responsible for formulating your medical statements—certified medical billers and coders—can sometimes make errors on your bill: a code can be entered incorrectly for example and you can end up being

charged for an entire procedure rather than a follow up visit. Accidents happen. This is why it’s important to always check and thoroughly examine your bill. Those that don’t typically end up paying hundreds of dollars for something they never received or end up tainting their credit report. That said, check your medical bill for discrepancies. If you do find an error, below are the steps you need to make to ensure it gets removed.

1. Request Bill

With newer technology, some clinics send statements to be viewed electronically.  If you don’t have this luxury then you need to request an itemized bill the old fashioned way. It might take a few days to reach you via snail mail, but you need to see what and how you were charged during your visit, line by line. To make sure everything is aligned and that you weren’t charged twice for the same procedure for example, it’s best if you request a “period” of billing—such as February through April. That’s because bills sometimes don’t get processed until a whole month after your initial visit.  So you want to check the months before and after.  Read each code carefully; each code should have a short description of what it means.  Also pay attention to “date of services.” If you know you didn’t have an EKG on that specific date, highlight it.

2. Record Discrepancies

On a separate piece of paper, write down all of the discrepancies you found. Call the medical facility and ask them about the errors. Some will correct the issue right away if the error is very obvious. If this doesn’t happen, inform whomever you are speaking to that you plan on disputing the claim. If your insurance has already paid partially for the discrepancy, inform them that you plan on disputing the error as well. They will give you more information on how to proceed.

3. Write Letter

Your final step is to write a letter to the medical facility stating your case: say what errors were made on the bill and why they need to be removed. Provide any evidence that you have, making sure to send in the copies and keeping the originals. Request that any additional form of communication be conducted in writing—this way, you have proof that you attempted to get the bill corrected. Sign and date your letter. Make a copy before sending it via certified mail to the billing department—you want to know that the medical facility did in deed receive your letter.  If the medical facility does not make any corrections, it’s best to take legal action.

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