Be sure that you check your hospital bill for your labor and delivery when it arrives. If for some reason that you do not get the bill, call the hospital or birth center to ask for an itemized copy. This is important even if you have insurance coverage. Here are some specifics to check for:
- Did you get double doses?
While it can be difficult to keep track of medications given during labor and postpartum, you probably have a general idea of what was given and when. So if you go over the bill and look at the medications given, you can see if you have basically the right doses of the right medications. So if you were only there for 24 hours postpartum and had eight doses of a medication that can only be given four times in that time period. You have a problem with your medical bill.
- Did you really have the procedure?
Look at the itemized list of procedures. Make sure that all of the procedures listed belong to you or your baby. (If you aren't sure what a procedure is, call the hospital for an explanation.) Examples might be a circumcision on your bill when you did not have your son circumcised.
- Did you get overcharged?
Overcharged is relative when it comes to medical bills. Though sometimes it is merely a typo or misplaced decimal. There are other times it is a mistake or even an actual charge. It may also be a double billing. These should be fixed. While you may not get these charges taken off your bill or even pro-rated, if they were actual charges, you can voice your concern. But expressing displeasure over $40 a maternity pad or a $10 acetaminophen is something that they need to hear your hospital as well as your insurance company.
- Did you get charged for the right amount of time?
Whether the bill is for the number of days that you were in the hospital or the operating room or recovery room - double check that the time is correct. Does it say you spent four days in the hospital when you came home at the 72 hour mark?
You might be reading this and think that it doesn't matter if you read the itemized bill closely because you have good health insurance. This would be a mistake. Even having good health insurance these errors cost you in the way of co-pays or monthly premiums. Some insurance companies even offer a reward for finding an error in your medical bill. This might be an added incentive to look.
If you find that there is an error, don't hesitate to contact the hospital or birth center's billing office. They can help you track down the error. Don't worry about being persistent.