Medical care in the United States is extremely expensive, even for patients with insurance coverage. Here are a few tips that may save you or family members money on medical bills:
- Request a shared hospital room. Many insurance plans do not cover a private room. If you request a shared room, you may end up in a private room but you should be charged the lower price of a shared room.
- Add language to the consent forms that you sign for treatment stating that your consent is limited only to in network care and that you are not consenting to care by out of network providers.
- If you are in the emergency department for many hours and anticipate you will need to stay in the hospital for over 24 hours, ask to be admitted to the hospital and not be on “observation” status. Many insurance plans require a qualified hospital admission for coverage of rehabilitation care in a skilled nursing facility afterwards.
- Write down the identification of all healthcare providers that appear at the bedside of the patient, and document what they do and who sent them. Decline all extraneous services.
- Do not take home any equipment that you don’t need.
For additional tips, read An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back by Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal.