August 10, 2007, Newsletter Issue #88: Hire An Expert To Help

Tip of the Week

Never assume that your insurance company received you correspondence, or is going to pay the remainder of the balance. If you are having trouble dealing with the paperwork, or getting payment from you insurance company, you can get help from a local claims assistant professional.
One such organization is the nonprofit Patient Advocate Foundation, which is a national non-profit organization that seeks to can provide assistance through this frustrating process. Some of these types of foundations also help resolve financial problems precipitated by illness. Generally, the services are free, but you need to have a chronic or life-threatening illness to qualify. Some other alternatives include Healthcare Navigation firms that can charge from $50 to $250 an hour depending on the help you may need. To find specialist in your area, you can go to or Some patients may prefer an advocate who specializes in a particular area of medicine.
Although finding a healthcare navigation firm that specializes in a particular area of medicine sounds preferable, be aware that advocates with a medical specialty may not provide much help with insurance paperwork.
Since it can be difficult to find errors in your medical bill, the next 10 tips are things you should be looking for specifically. Some hospitals have patient advocates that help the patient get through the billing process. You may also be able to go over some of these items with your doctor during your follow up visit. Just be sure you notify his/her staff when you are scheduling the appointment.

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