How to Deal with Overpriced Hospital Bills - Zupnick Associates

(By Louis Toffoli)

 

Overpriced hospital bills in the United States have been a sore subject for many Americans throughout the years. According to The Commonwealth Fund, 79 million Americans struggle with medical bills or debt. 

Expensive hospital bills have resulted in endless financial stresses for Americans–leading many to wonder how to deal with these bills. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce the burden of hospital bills. 

This article will cover how you can educate employees on reducing the financial impacts of expensive hospital bills. 

 

Hospital Bills in the United States

Unfortunately, having health insurance isn’t the only thing you need to avoid large medical bills. An unexpected medical emergency can cost thousands for Americans with even the best health insurance coverage. 

While there is no single answer to why hospital bills cost so much, there are some main claims for the high costs. The most commonly cited reason for the medical bill prices is the “administrative” costs. 

U.S healthcare is a complex system that is made up of a lot of different sectors and arrangements. The cost of prescription drugs is also rising, as pharmaceutical companies expect insurance companies to pay the bill. 

In the end, the average American is the one that is affected most by the healthcare system’s design. According to a study in 2020, there is an estimated $140 billion of medical debt in collections in the United States. 

 

HR’s Role In Helping Employees

While U.S healthcare costs are high, employees aren’t helpless in improving their situations. HR professionals can help employees reduce their overpriced hospital bills through various resources. 

If you know that the employer’s healthcare coverage does not cover emergency room fees or drug costs, you can help them. Helping employees pay for expensive hospital bills will also improve retention. One of the best ways to help employees reduce costs is through education. 

When you inform employees on their health insurance coverage and how to navigate the system, they will be more prepared. Giving them tips like using generic prescriptions over brand-name drugs is a minor adjustment, but it helps tremendously. 

 

Dr. Jenaya Caldrilla’s Medical Bill Advice

As medical bills continue to affect millions of Americans, some have taken helping others into their own hands. Dr. Jenaya Caldrilla is a (now famous through TikTok) is a physician who helps hundreds of thousands of people navigate the healthcare system. 

With her experience being a physician, Jenaya has learned how the healthcare system works in the United States. She has amassed millions of views on her videos, each covering a topic about the U.S healthcare system. 

One of her most popular video topics is the importance of negotiating your hospital fees after receiving a bill. Due to hospitals having no standardized fees, there is no set limit to what hospitals can charge you. 

By negotiating with the collections agency the correct way, you can likely reduce the bill amount. Sometimes, the reduction in the costs can be drastic, as the hospital catches a mistake made in the charges. 

Dr. Caldrilla is an influential figure in healthcare, providing hope for thousands suffering from a financial crisis. Her videos have given many the confidence to negotiate with hospitals for lower bills.

 

Negotiating Hospital Bills

As HR representatives looking out for our employees’ best interests, Dr. Caldrilla’s method is a great tool to arm our employees with. It’s easy to share, and learning how to negotiate the price of hospital bills will have a direct impact on their lives. 

There are three steps that someone should take to negotiate the price of a hospital bill, according to Dr. Jenaya Caldrilla. 

These steps are: 

  1. Ask for an Itemized Bill: An itemized bill will display all of the charges relating to a bill. Call your hospital to ask for an itemized list in the mail. 
  2. Check the Bill for Accuracy: When you receive the itemized bill in the mail, look to see any changes and if the charges are accurate.
  3. Call the Hospital Back to Discuss Options: If the bill is inaccurate, you can call the hospital to fix the mistakes. However, if the bill is accurate and you can’t pay the balance, you can speak to the billing department about better payment terms. 

Conclusion

Overpriced hospital bills are a problem for millions of Americans with/without insurance. As HR reps, we should help employees reduce their bills, because it directly affects their lives. With this new knowledge, your employees will be happier and motivated to work effectively for the company. 

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