How to Help Explain Billing to Curious Patients

Knowing a few of the specifics about medical billing procedures can go a long way in assuring your patients and providing them better customer service.

by Eileen O’Shanassy

Between providing healthcare and every possible service that you can to patients, medical professionals also have to consider their billing procedures. Few would argue that healthcare billing is straightforward and easy to understand. We all know that the system is complex, but patients may be particularly curious about what they are being billed for, and regardless of your job, knowing a few of the specifics can go a long way in assuring your patients and giving better customer service. 

Detailing Expenses

Each patient is provided with a comprehensive breakdown of what is on their bill when they receive it, but that does not make it any easier to understand. They may even want to dispute certain charges because they are just so certain they are right about something and you are trying to rip them off. They may stick with this incorrect belief no matter how much you explain it to them, but trying to explain it may indeed save you some headaches. Familiarize yourself with common charges and help patients understand why you might need to charge for a certain procedure.

Go Through it with Them

The bills sent out to patients will have information that includes the date they received a certain treatment, the name of that treatment, the doctor or medical professional who administered the treatment, the portion that insurance covers, and more. If a patient has a question about their bill you should start by looking over the bill to see what you can find within the bill regarding the various treatments that they received. It may be the case that they just overlooked something that you can point out to them.

When Legal Action is Necessary

An attorney may be called for in certain situations if an irate patient begins to bring a suit against the hospital or medical facility because of how they were billed. It is often the case that the billing is correct and that the patient just does not understand it. However, it is also true that the medical billing people can in fact be wrong as well and make mistakes. If they make mistakes, then you could be open to a lawsuit coming your way. 

Someone trained in the law is called for in situations like this because they just know what the right moves to make are. They can look over the medical bills themselves and see where the issue is and try to resolve it with the patient out of court. Staying out of court is the number one goal here, and the best way to do that is to hire an experienced lawyer who knows how to defuse situations like this, and that may come up from time to time. You are definitely in the right to do this if you feel the pressure closing in from a patient.

Helping patients to understand their billing can make for a much better experience overall. Keep these things in mind when you have a patient who needs a few things explained.

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter, @eileenoshanassy.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.