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August 03, 2006


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I had an erroneous charge (of $1400) from the hospital after I gave birth - they knew it was a mistake, but nobody would fix it. I called numerous times, wrote numerous letters..and nothing happened. Finally, my mother (who works for a hospital) told me to write to their PR Department (each hospital has one) and explain the whole situation and that I was going to write a big letter to the L.A. Times (my local paper) if they didn't fix this problem right away. Needless to say, within a short time, it was cleared up.

I've found out from my own personal credit report that I reportedly have nearly $3000 in unpaid medical bills that occurred after an accident which was not my fault. I had insurance which did not pay for my ambulance ride, and I wound up paying for it out of pocket. However, I was never informed of any other unpaid bills from mail, or phone calls, they just showed up on my credit report one day without any warning. One credit bureau has deleted the claims after I requested an investigation, but it is a HUGE PAIN to clear all of this up.

Yeah, medical stuff can be a total racket. I've fought some stuff till I was blue in the face. What insurers deem "medically unnecessary" is often absurd. I can't tell you the exact solution, but our whole system needs revamping.

This website will let you search for the CPT codes that doctors offices and insurance companies use. This is an important resource to have at your fingertips. If you know what procedure you are going to undergo you can find the CPT code for it, then call your insurance company to find out what they consider to be the reasonable and acceptable charge for this procedure. Then go back to the doctor and make sure his charge is in the same range. You could use this as a negotiating tool as well.

The website is:

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