Monday, July 27, 2015

Hospital Stay: What You Should Know About Rising Medical Costs

Despite the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which includes the expansion of coverage under the Medicaid program and increased protections for seniors on Medicare, health care costs continue to increase with no relief expected in the near future. 

Fortunately, patients can do many things either on their own or with the assistance of others, to greatly reduce the cost of a stay in the hospital. In some cases, reducing costs may come down to simple persistence by the patients themselves. 

Use Preventative Care

The first and most effective way to avoid expensive medical bills is to use preventative care to help your health. Make sure you have a good exercise regimen in place, and you get enough sleep each night. 

A simple change in lifestyle like a healthier diet and new fitness routine can mean the difference between contracting illnesses and being at risk for many more. When you feel you are getting sick, make sure you take time off to rest and recover.

Of course there are some things even preventative steps can’t foresee like an accident, rare disease, or genetic condition. In this case, it is best you follow some of the steps below to make sure you are covered. 

Do Some Hospital "Shopping"

The increase in medical costs have been linked to many factors, including the use of more expensive equipment to diagnose and treat ailments and larger settlements in malpractice cases. 

However, these issues do not fully account for the disparities in costs between hospitals that may be in close proximity.

Shopping for health care may not always be possible, but seeking the lowest costs for elective or anticipated procedures can greatly reduce your medical bill. One study showed that the cost of the same procedure in one hospital was 10 times that in a facility located in an adjacent community. 

Consider Negotiating the Cost

It is important to know the estimated cost of a particular procedure before trying to negotiate the price. This information is often available from insurance providers.
In the actual negotiations, you should mention any particular hardships. It may even be possible to negotiate the cost after the procedure has been performed.

Avoid Unnecessary Procedures

Lowering the cost of your treatment may be facilitated if you attempt to reduce or eliminate services that you and your doctor consider unnecessary to your situation. 

You may also consider having a particular procedure done on an outpatient basis. You should also make sure you were not billed for something that was not provided, such as the visit of a specialist that never took place.

Seek Help From Others

Your personal physician can provide you with considerable advice about medical procedures and their costs, but you may also consider turning to a medical billing advocate. 

These specialists can help ensure that you get what you pay for. In the event that you have been cheated or even physically harmed by a medical facility, you should consider turning to the services of a medical malpractice lawyer like McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C.

An attorney can help ensure that your rights as a patient are protected, and you receive the financial compensation to which you may be entitled. 

Getting the treatment you need sometimes depends on the cost, but it shouldn’t have to. There are many ways you can lower medical bills and get a better price on insurance coverage or payment plans, you just have to know how to negotiate your case. 

Use these tips to help find a way to decrease your debts, while still getting the treatment and medicine you need.

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