Study: Most disputed medical bills do include errors

Nov 6, 2013 | Hospital Finance Efficiency

If a patient or another outside entity calls the validity of a medical bill into question, chances are they are right. According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, a national association that checks bills for consumers, 80 percent of scrutinized medical bills do in fact contain errors. This has caused several media members and analysts to call the entirety of the health care billing process into question.

William Wright, a contributor to the Cleveland Daily Banner, calls this a significant issue, and one that many can't seem to comprehend.

"One of the greatest medical mysteries of our time has nothing to do with the origin of new viruses or curing old diseases, but why billing departments cannot keep better medical records," he wrote in a recent article.

These errors can range from egregious overcharges to simple typos, which may themselves have a drastic impact on the bill. Either way, any error will compromise the legitimacy of the bill, the billing department and possibly the hospital in general. Wright offers a number of suggestions for patients to overcome this issue. These range from what to look for if you think there might be an issue with your bill to how to react if your suspicions prove to be accurate. While these are important for patients to know, it's certainly best for medical organizations to simply prevent these incidents from happening in the first place. 

An efficient and organized billing department are much less at risk than those that can't seem to get their affairs in order. Partnering with an organization that can manage outstanding third party claims and other issues that can cause inefficiency will help departments streamline processes and mitigate the risk of errors.