A young woman with no health insurance is battling a major New York City hospital. Arnold Diaz reports that for a year and a half she was getting nowhere until Fox 5 became her ammunition.
Experts tell Fox 5 it is very important for consumers to request an itemized hospital bill and review the bill as soon as it is received. An itemized bill allows you to see exactly what you were charged for. You should look out for duplicate charges, like being charged more than once for the same procedure or drug. Watch out for typos, especially decimal points in numbers. You should double check to ensure you received all the procedures, tests and drugs that are listed on the bill. With medication, you should also watch to see if you were charged for the generic drug if you received the generic form.
If you find any errors, contact the hospital's billing department as soon as possible and ask them to make the correction. Follow up with a request in writing to the director of the billing department so that there is a record of the complaint.
Experts say that if this doesn't work, contact your insurance company. You can also appeal to your state's attorney general office.
If you can't do the work yourself there are companies that will review your medical bills and will help you fight mistakes and overcharges. These companies can also negotiate with the hospital or doctor to reduce your medical bills.
Before hiring a company, make sure you are clear what they can do for you, and also find out if they are charging you a flat fee or a percentage of what they save you.
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