The Finance Blogger


Negotiate your health bills – if you are suffering the results of a medical error

Negotiate Your Health Bills - suffering the results of a medical errorThe first step is Negotiate your health bills while you’re still healthy! The others included – At the time you get a big bill; If you are suffering the results of a medical error; When you are caught between doctor and health plan; and Planning an elective procedure. No one wants to deal with a large medical bill. Even though the bill is going to be high, there is room to negotiate and reduce the total cost in most cases. The worst that can happen is that the doctor refuses to negotiate. Most will do something so always ask for a reduction. We will discuss these in more detail in future posts as well.

Negotiate your health bills if you are suffering the results of a medical error

A medical error can be really difficult. You are already suffering from some ailment which required medical treatment in the first place and now you have to deal with some mistake that was made concerning your health. We hear about the really bad ones where a patient has been operated on and something is left inside the patient, or the wrong patient was operated on or they removed something they should have not removed. Fortunately these examples are pretty uncommon and the majority of cases are not this severe!

What is more common are things like incorrect prescriptions, incorrect diagnoses or no diagnoses at all. Some doctors give too many prescriptions and their patients do not know the difference or in a few cases they are thankful because they like the idea of being so many prescriptions. This is dangerous, but they are their own masters so there is not a lot you can do about these people.

What we are saying in this web site is there may be an opportunity to negotiate a settlement of some kind directly with the doctor if you are the recipient of a medical error.

Negotiate your health bills – An Example of a Medical Decision

A friend of ours was being operated on to remove a bone spur in his shoulder. This was to be a simple operation and he would have full use of his arm after the operation. Release forms were signed accordingly and he was operated on.

When he woke up he found that the bone spur had been removed, but the doctor had to repair a tear in his shoulder which meant that he needed to keep his arm immobilized for three months and then go through physio for six months. The doctor made the right decision to make the repairs that my friend needed, however he did not have permission and did not have release forms.

The doctor was very concerned and discussed it with my friend. My friend was of the opinion that he would rather have the cooperation completed, instead of going back for a second operation months later. He expressed this opinion to the doctor who was greatly relieved.

This situation could have turned out very badly, however both parties made the right decision and there was no litigation required. We do feel that if the patient had a trip for example booked and now could not go on the trip, he might have asked the doctor to cover this cost, however there was nothing like that to be concerned about.

My friend cannot drive now for at least 5 months as his shoulder recovers. Apparently it is illegal to drive with only one arm! Not everyone needs to launch a lawsuit in cases were common sense prevails. Negotiate your health bills when it makes sense.

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