How to Spot Errors on Your Medical Bill

Health care advocates found that approximately 80% of medical bills in the U.S. contain at least one error. This alarming statistic means it’s crucial you carefully review your bill to make sure you aren’t overcharged for medical services. Checking your medical bill isn’t as complicated of a process as it may seem. We have a few tips to make sure you are being charged accurately.

1. Request and review an itemized bill.

Bills received by mail are typically just a summary of the services you received. This means you can’t see every charge and what it was for. Itemized bills have specific medical codes that show exactly what the charges apply to. Once you receive the itemized bill from the billing office, carefully review it and look up any medical codes you don’t understand.

2. Verify dates of service.

When you receive and look through your itemized bill, look closely at the small details. Double check the dates of your service, date of birth and insurance information. Although the date of service seems minuscule, it can impact how your insurance coverage assists your payments or how much of your bill counts toward your deductible.

3. Compare the Explanation of Benefits to the bill.

Every bill should come with an EOB summary from your insurance provider. The EOB shows how much of each medical bill charge was covered by your insurer versus how much you owe. If you have questions about your EOB, reach out to your provider.

4. Check for upcoding.

Upcoding is when there is a charge for a more expensive service than you received. If the charge seems too high or out of the ordinary, mark it as a potential error. Upcoding is difficult to check for but is one of the more costly mistakes that occurs.

5. Look for canceled services.

It’s not uncommon to find inaccurate charges on your bill when a doctor cancels a particular lab or service. Doctors run many tests and labs and sometimes services that were canceled can still appear on your bill. If you aren’t sure if you received a particular service or not, reach out to your provider.

6. Call the billing office.

Billing representatives are there to help answer any questions you may have about your bill. Once you’ve reviewed and marked up your bill with potential issues, it can be beneficial to talk it through with a billing representative.

Medical bill errors are common, but you have the power to double check the bill and save your money. Take charge of your health care dollars by reviewing your medical bill thoroughly. If you have questions on your bill, be sure to reach out to your provider.