How to Deal with Medical Bills for Self-Paying Patients

How to Deal with Medical Bills for Self-Paying Patients

Anytime that a medical emergency arises for self-paying patients, the fear of the receiving the high hospital bill arises. In most cases, it is simply because self-paying patients pay full-price. Many hospitals offer discounts for self-pay patients, however, even these totals are too much for some to afford. Unfortunately, what is noticed is that self-paying patients are experiencing medical price gouging.

What you are really paying

The fact of the matter is that prices seem to be raised for self-paying patients by 3 – 5 times as much as what the actual treatment costs. Some services are double or triple billed as well. Consider it as a form of punishment for not having insurance if you will.

Self-paying patients are not the only ones experiencing this charge master price gouging; those with insurance see it as well, just not as bad. Those that have no choice but to use out of network providers see the inflated pricing too.

Ask for an Itemized Bill

One of the best things you can do is ask for an itemized bill to be sent to you. You can do this after you receive the initial bill. The itemized bill will show you exactly how much you are being charged for each service provided; this also includes charges for medications administered.

When reviewing the itemize bill, it is ideal to explore the whole bill, line by line. At this point, you also want to try to remember exactly how the hospital visit went to ensure that you even received all of those services.

Seek Patient Assistance Programs

If you have trouble working with the billing department at the hospital, request prescription assistance. A mediator will help you work with the hospital to get the bill down to a manageable level. These patient assistance programs can significantly reduce medical bills, some by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. While this may not make the bill any more manageable for patients, making payment arrangements will be more feasible.

Closing Thoughts

It is very important to take advantage of these patient assistance programs, especially if you are uninsured. Medical bills can be very overwhelming and often cause financial distress to the point where foreclosures and utility bill disconnection notices occur. The goal of patient assistance programs is to stop these notices from arriving and help the bills to become manageable and reduced to a more realistic value. The main point here is medical services do not cost as much as most providers charge.



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