At long last, here’s the fourth and final part of my mini-series on saving on medical care. The article upon which this is based was writen by Sid Kirchheimer and originally published in Bottom Line/Personal. Today we’ll be covering tips #7 and #8. Here goes…
Tip #7: Watch for double billing — It’s not uncommon for hospitals to double bill for certain things. For example, they might charge a daily room rate as well as for sheets and pillows. Ask the hospital’s patient advocate if these things aren’t already included in the room rate. Same goes for things related to operating room time — is it really legitimate to charge separately for scrubs, masks, and gloves? It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Tip #8: Don’t pay for your last day — Hospital patients are typically charged for an entire day their first day no matter how late they check in. In return, hospitals aren’t supposed to charge for the last day, or at least not if you check out by a certain time. So find out about the witching hour, and then be sure your doctor releases you before that time rolls around. If the doctor can’t come by to see you in time, take it up with the hospital — you shouldn’t be charged for someone else’s schedule constraints. This is actually something that we dealt with when our first child was born. As long as we were out by a certain time (maybe 2PM), the last day was free of charge. Needless to say, we got out in time.
While your post is focusing on a hospital stay, you should also be aware of potential fraud with doctors. I wrote about a recent experience of fraud; the link: http://assetsandliabilities.bl.....-your.html . A simple search on Google would have revealed more about this doctor. I was prepared to write him a check for $175 until I happened to notice something on the statement. After telling my story to friends, I am learning that many people don’t read the statements closely.
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