The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Archive for medical bills

Doctors Try to Ease Financial Worries of Chronically Ill

With the rising costs of medical care, loss of jobs and more I was glad to see how doctors are personally trying to help out this stress.   Sandra Bodman of The Washington Post, writes about this in an article, “Doctors trying to ease their patients’ financial pain”

Doctors are encountering more patients struggling to pay for care. Some doctors have responded by selectively cutting their fees or devising novel payment arrangements; others have taken a harder line on billing and are sending more overdue accounts to bill collectors.

Although groups such as the American College of Physicians do not specify how much charity care members should provide, many doctors say they feel a responsibility to help strapped patients, particularly those with whom they have long-standing relationships. Some say assisting patients pays dividends in the form of loyalty, which will benefit them once the economy recovers. For others, such efforts may stem an exodus of consumers at a time when elective procedures and visits to doctors’ offices are down.

So far, none of my doctors have volunteered to lower their prices, but I have not expressed the need or expectation that they would. Most of my doctors, I believe, are struggling financially themselves.

Regarding those with chronic illness, the articles goes on to address this, explaining one doctor’s solution for now:

Family physician H. Lee Adkins of Fort Myers, Fla., recently launched a novel plan to counter the growing no-show rate among patients with chronic illnesses: a $75-per-month fee that entitles patients to a basic package of services including more than a dozen office visits per year, simple lab tests and many vaccinations. Patients are required to sign a one-year contract. Why $75? “That’s the same amount people spend on a monthly cable bill,” Adkins says.

What has been your experience?

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Are You Being Charged Incorrectly for Medical Bills?

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According to a recent article “Health care spending in the U.S. is five (5) times that of defense and three (3) times that of education. Health care insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, and consumers bear the cost of fraud, which represents an ever-growing burden in the form of increased premiums, taxes, co-pays and deductibles.”

Of this $51 billion issue, upwards of $10 billion of it is likely coming from overcharges on medical bills like yours.

I just ran across this organization, Medical Billing Advocates of America, in a well-known magazine. You can find an advocate to help you prevent overpayments on your individual medical bills or to recover money you’ve already spent. Search for an advocate by state or find advocates who specialize in your particular case.

They even have a guide on how to become a better health billing advocate for yourself, knowing what to watch for on your bills. I plan to contact them this week to see if they have any advice for some medical bills I am being charged for inappropriately!

If anyone has any experience with them (good or bad) we’d love to hear your story!

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