Physician billing services.
What does that have to do with blogging?
This is a blogging tips site, after all.
This blog has shared many tips on how to make money.
Guest author Christoph Nauer shares tips in this post about how to save money.
According to Christoph, by becoming knowledgeable about physician billing services, you’ll be able to lower your medical bills.
5 Ways You May Be Able to Lower Your Next Medical Bill
If you are fortunate enough to enjoy good health and only visit a doctor once a year or so with a bad cold or a sinus infection, then your medical costs are pretty basic, and it may not be worth your time to figure out how physician billing services work and try and get those fees reduced.
However, if you are like so many other Americans, who struggle with increasing medical costs year after year, the following information may prove to be very useful. You may not have considered that there are ways you can reduce your medical bills—and while not everything is negotiable, there are a few things you should be aware of.
This is What You Need to Know about Physician Billing Services
1. Stay In-Network
Insurance companies and government payers, like Medicaid and Medicare, negotiate their rates with medical providers. They often have plans with “in-network” providers who agree to accept lower rates, which means their patients also pay a lower rate. Each insurer may have different plans that include different networks, so if your plan changes when the new year begins, be sure your doctor’s medical billing services confirm that your coverage is the same, so that you don’t get any unexpected charges.
2. Get Procedure Prices
You probably won’t save a lot of money by going to a different doctor to get a cold checked out, but if you know you have to have a procedure, it is worth finding out about the local facilities where it can be done. If it can be done at an outpatient surgical center, for example, the cost will likely be much less than having it done in the hospital.
This may require changing physicians, as each one will only be authorized to work at certain locations. If your regular doctor won’t be doing the procedure and you have to find a specialist, it is worth finding out if one will cost less than another.
Sometimes it is also possible to get a discount if you ask. Before you receive services, speak to the provider’s office. (It is more usual for them to say yes if there are alternatives in the nearby area.)
3. Establish Medical Necessity
Most insurers only cover what is deemed “medically necessary,” but there are some situations where they deny payment inappropriately. It’s best to get it approved in advance and have the doctor’s medical billing service appeal any denials that your doctor believes are medically necessary.
You can also find out if everything she is recommending is necessary, and base your decision on what to have done on that.
4. Find Lower-Cost Drug Alternatives
Generic drugs have been proven to be as effective as name-brand drugs in many tests and are usually much cheaper. You also may be able to get a much better price by buying from a mail-order pharmacy or even through a warehouse club like Sam’s Club.
The large chain stores with pharmacies are very competitive on price and popular generic drugs are often available for very low prices from them.
Depending on your insurer, over-the-counter (OTC) alternatives may cost more or less. Payers often require doctors to prescribe OTC when they are available, because they don’t pay for OTC medications. But if you have no insurance paying for the medication either way, an OTC version may give you the same relief at a lower cost.
5. Check Your Bill Carefully
After your treatment is complete, you should review your bill to make sure that you aren’t charged for anything you didn’t receive. Pay attention to the number of days you receive care, treatments received, medications, etc.
The best way to do this is to ask for an itemized bill. You will receive an EOB (explanation of benefits) statement, but it will be much more general than what you need. When you have a detailed bill, review it carefully, making sure everything looks correct. You can also ask for a copy of your chart and pharmacy record if you need it.
Your provider’s billing department can help you decipher the parts you don’t understand, and they can also work with the insurer if you find that you are being charged for anything that you believe they should have covered.
Studying up on your health care coverage may not sound like the most interesting reading, but if you expect to have medical bills, understanding your plan and taking responsibility for getting the best coverage for the care you need can save you a lot of money.
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