Learn the Minimum Monthly Payment On Medical Bills
Have you undergone a medical procedure recently? If yes, you must be expecting a medical bill. Paying medical bills can be quite a burden for the patients. Most insurance plans don’t cover the entire procedure, meaning, patients are the ones who have to make the remaining payments on their own. Even if a patient has a good insurance plan in hand, expensive procedures can still leave them with a hefty copayment to be made. However, when it comes to a minimum monthly payment for medical bills, there is no law in place for that. The good thing is that patients can negotiate with the hospitals or healthcare providers and make a payment plan. But the question is, what is the minimum monthly payment on medical bills?
Errors are common in medical billing and coding which is why once you receive a medical bill, ensure and compare the cost with the services received. These errors can be due to several reasons including coding errors, inpatient or outpatient settings, or overbilling.
Be aware following errors before paying the medical bill(s)!
Following are some of the most common medical billing and coding errors in medical bills. Check and review the medical bill before making the payment to the healthcare provider.
Amount billed Vs. dosage received:
Several reasons can lead to the generation of an incorrect medical bill. One of these reasons could be billing for an incorrect amount for the dosage than the one received. This error could also be a reason for incorrect documentation or coding.
Errors in medical coding:
Even a minor mix-up in digits or alphabets in the codes can lead to billing an incorrect code. Errors in medical coding are quite common and can be a result of human error, this is why medical coders must have a vast knowledge of coding systems. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can also lead to a claim being denied or rejected. Some of the other most common coding errors include the following:
- Use of outdated or deleted codes
- Not following the official coding guidelines provided
- Appending an inappropriate modifier
- Overuse of modifier 22
- Under coding
Coding errors like unbundling and upcoding result in higher charges for the patients. This is why, once a medical bill is received, verify the services received and the ones you are being charged for. You can also contact a medical billing advocate for assistance.
Inpatient Vs. Outpatient services:
Inpatient services are the kind of healthcare services a patient receives if they spend a minimum of one night at the hospital. On the contrary, if a patient receives healthcare services or procedures without staying overnight, they are categorized as outpatient services.
For obvious reasons, inpatient services are more expensive than outpatient services. And charging for inpatient services while the patient received outpatient services can result in an incorrect payment or medical bill.
Some medical coding errors are fraudulent practices when the provider charges the patient more than the services received. Any of the following medical coding errors can result in higher payments for the patients:
When a medical coder bills multiple codes for a single procedure (even though a comprehensive code exists) is known as unbundling. This medical coding error is a fraudulent practice and Medicare abuse.
Using a more expensive or comprehensive code than the service performed is known as upcoding. Like unbundling, upcoding is also a fraudulent practice and Medicare abuse.
Charges for more visits than received:
If the healthcare facility charges for more visits to the patients than the ones received, it can result in higher reimbursements and medical bills.
Never pay medical bills without checking the following things:
Based on the above-mentioned reasons and errors it is better to go through everything before making the payment. Once you receive the medical bill:
1. Check the information:
Even a slight clerical error in medical bills can result in higher prices than the services received. Moreover, a missing digit or incorrect insurance ID number can also result in a claim being denied/rejected. Healthcare providers have several insurance payers on board, and sometimes medical bills can be submitted to an incorrect insurance payer. This mix-up can lead to delayed claims and lower reimbursements and revenues for the practice.
To avoid any of these, the insurance information of the patient should be verified before submitting the claim.
2. Compare the invoice you received with the Insurance Explanation of Benefits (EOB):
Once, the patient receives the medical bill, compare it with the EOB. This Explanation of Benefits (EOB) contains the details of deductibles as well as the services denied. Compare the medical bill with the EOB for verification.
3. Ensure that the information in the medical bill is correct:
Mistakes in medical billing are bound to happen. This is the reason why the EOB should always be compared with the medical bill for verification. In case of any unauthorized charges or other discrepancies, contact your healthcare provider and insurance payer.
4. Set up a monthly payment plan:
The question arises; what is the minimum monthly payment on medical bills due to HIPAA law? There is no minimum monthly payment on medical bills according to the law. However, patients can negotiate with their healthcare provider for setting up a monthly payment plan. Several medical or healthcare providers are offering interest-free payment plans. This may help the patient in managing their medical bills in the better way possible.
How long do you have to pay medical bills?
Usually, medical bills from the day billed have a due date of about 30 days. Patients can negotiate with the healthcare provider and set up a payment plan to pay the medical bills owed. 30 days is just a standard time for medical bills; however, the bills aren’t sent to collection agencies exactly after 30 days.
What is a Medical Debt Payoff?
When it comes to minimum monthly payments on medical bills, it completely depends on the patient, their copayment, and the healthcare provider. Medical debts can be negotiable with the healthcare providers, patients can set up a monthly payment plan to pay off medical debts.
Medical bills without insurance:
Medical care is important, in case you require emergency care, head towards a healthcare facility now!
Technically you can’t be denied medical care just because of no health insurance or you can’t afford to pay. The question is, how to pay medical bills without insurance?
Following are some of the tips:
Review the medical bills:
As mentioned earlier, errors in medical bills are quite common, one mistake can generate an incorrect medical bill. This can result in increased payments. This is why review the medical bills for any possible errors, if you require assistance seek help from a medical billing advocate.
You can also request a discount to help reduce the treatment charges from the healthcare provider.
Follow-up with your insurance payer:
Various insurance providers only cover a small number of treatment charges. If you have any kind of insurance plan, get in touch with your insurance payer and request an explanation of the benefits (EOB) and payments/procedures that can be covered.
Get on a monthly payment plan:
Various hospitals also offer monthly payment plans, not just to patients without insurance but also to the ones with an insurance plan. Paying medical bills through a monthly payment plan isn’t uncommon, so in case you can’t pay, get yourself on a medical bill payment plan!
Can medical bills be negotiated beforehand?
Unless you require emergency treatment, you can negotiate your medical bills beforehand. You can ask your healthcare provider or facility about the charges prior to the service and negotiate the prices/get on a monthly payment plan. However, medical bills should be taken seriously and paid with honesty and responsibility.
Understanding Medical billing:
Medical billing and coding are essential processes for any healthcare practice. Special codes are used to translate the information from a medical claim onto the bill being generated for the insurance provider to understand. Based on this information and the codes used, the insurance provider decides whether the claim should be approved, denied, or rejected.
Why do we bill?
When we think about going to a doctor it seems like a one-on-one interaction with the physician. However, in reality, it comprises a complex and complicated process at the back end, comprising the information and billing process. Going to the doctor is a three-party collaboration; the patient, the healthcare provider, and the insurance payer. Medical billing is a process that plays a significant role in getting reimbursements for the services rendered by the healthcare physician(s).
Healthcare providers include medical physicians, hospitals, healthcare facilities, emergency rooms, urgent care, outpatient facilities, etc. Medical billers are the ones who are responsible for the entire billing process from claim preparation to timely submitting the claim and managing claim denials. Medical billing and coding are two separate processes that usually collide during preparing a claim.
Process of medical billing:
Medical billing comprises several steps including:
- Patient registration
- Confirming the financial responsibility
- Meeting with the physician (a.k.a., the encounter)
- Medical transcription
- Medical coding
- Preparing the medical claim
- Claim submission
- Monitoring adjudication
- Generating patient statements
- Follow-up and denial management
Errors in medical billing:
Common errors in medical billing and coding include the following:
- Use of an incorrect code
- Appending an inappropriate modifier
- Overuse of modifier 22
- Incomplete or inaccurate documentation
- Using a deleted or outdated code
- Not following the coding guidelines
- Not fulfilling the insurance payer’s requirements
- Late submissions
- Under coding
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can you be charged interest on medical bills?
When it comes to being charged interest on medical bills, there is rarely any interest charge on the medical debt. However, paying through a credit card (which should be the last resort) may result in high interest.
2. How long do you have to pay medical bills?
Usually, medical bills from the day billed to have a due date of about 30 days. However, patients can negotiate with the healthcare provider and set up a payment plan to pay the medical bills owed.
3. How to pay medical bills without insurance?
Following are some of the tips:
- Review your medical bill(s)l for any errors as they are quite common
- Request the healthcare provider for a discount
- Follow up with your insurance payer for the coverage
- Negotiate a monthly payment plan