AP: Asking Questions Can Save Patients Money
Doing some simple homework before receiving medical treatment may help consumers save money, The Associated Press reports. "Here are some things to consider before checking in to a hospital or outpatient surgery center for non-emergency care. Be prepared to ask your doctor or insurer questions." Among them: Is the procedure covered by one's insurance? Does the insurer require pre-authorization for a given procedure? Are the doctors and facilities involved in the procedure part of one's insurer's network?
Also, those with limited or no insurance may confront a separate set of issues. They should "[f]ind out whether the hospital or surgery center provides self-pay discounts or charity care options or if you can pay the Medicare rate for a procedure. A social worker or someone in the billing office may be able to help you" (Murphy, 6/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.