Medical billing advocates are a great option if you’re facing unpaid medical bills, suspect a medical billing error, or need medical advice. Medical billing advocates are professionals well versed in medical billing and insurance companies. In addition to helping you understand your medical bills, advocates can assist you with lowering your debt, navigating insurance companies and more.
When you hire a medical billing advocate you will have an ally to support you. Medical billing advocates fight to reduce your medical bills. Healthcare consultants can also assist with insurance claims and denials, claims appeals and payment negotiations. In addition, a billing advocate will help form a repayment plan that fits your budget.
If you are wondering how to find a medical billing advocate, you’ve come to the right place. This article will tell you everything you need to know about medical billing advocates and healthcare consultants. We’ll examine why medical billing advocates are important when paying off unwanted medical bills, where to find a medical advocate as well as additional resources.
- 4 Best Resources for Finding a Medical Billing Advocate
- Hire an Experienced Medical Billing Advocate
- Are Medical Billing Advocates Expensive?
- Next Steps: Before You Hire a Medical Billing Advocate: Ask Questions
- FAQs About Finding a Medical Billing Advocate
- Is It Really Worth Hiring a Medical Billing Advocate?
4 Best Resources for Finding a Medical Billing Advocate
If you are looking for a billing advocate to assist you, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Countless assets are at your disposal to help you locate the right advocate. Depending on your location, you may receive free assistance through your hospital, state government or community. In addition, assistance can be obtained by hiring an experienced private professional.
1. Community Resources
Hiring an advocate through community resources is your best option if you are operating on a limited budget. By law, most hospitals, nursing homes, and healthcare facilities must employ at least one patient advocate who acts as a medical billing assistant. If you consult the advocate your hospital provides then their services will be free.
Your health insurance company is another possible option for free medical billing advice. Depending on the size of your insurance company, they may have a patient advocate on staff to assist. Also if your employer pays for your health insurance, they may pay for a healthcare consultant as part of your employee benefits.
While trying to save money and utilize free services is always an acceptable option, you should pursue these services with caution. After all, the patient advocates at hospitals, nursing homes, and insurance companies want you to pay in full. It is their job to collect money from you. Therefore, free advocacy isn’t always the best way to get your medical bills reduced.
2. Medical Condition Specific Organizations
Depending on the condition or illness that created your medical bills, you may be able to get a patient advocate from a condition specific organization. There are numerous private charities and organizations that help patients with chronic or life-threatening conditions. For example, MedCareLine Case Management provides medical advocacy to people diagnosed with cancer, HIV/Aids and ALS..
Medical billing specialists from condition specific organizations can be useful if you have a rare condition or terminal illness with high medical bills. Often advocates from condition specific organizations donate their time and expertise to help those in need.
3. State and Government Resources
Medicare and Medicaid are government programs that provide assistance to low income individuals. Not only can Medicare and Medicaid provide free or reduced cost insurance coverage, they can also help pay off your medical bills.
Every state offers free consultations to determine if you qualify for governmental assistance. Since every state has different rules and regulations pertaining to governmental aid, it’s essential to consult a medical billing specialist who is familiar with the laws in your state.
4. Independent Organizations
Finally, you also have the option of employing an independent organization. There are many such organizations throughout the country. Let’s look at some of the leading independent organizations.
AdvoConnection is an online directory that lists all the patient advocates and medical billing specialists in your area. Consult your employer to learn if they will pay for the services as part of their employer benefits. If not, AdvoConnection will help you find a healthcare consultant.
- National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants
The National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC) is another independent organization offering premium healthcare consultations. The NAHAC will help you find the right consultant for your needs and offer medical billing advice.
- The Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals
If you need assistance with insurance claims, disputes or appeals, the Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals is for you. The Alliance consists of a group of independent insurance claims adjusters that assist people with issues regarding insurance claims and denials.
- Patient Advocate Foundation
The Patient Advocate Foundation is one of the leading medical billing assistance organizations. The PAF offers its services free of charge and has over 45 case managers available to provide services. These managers offer private consultations and have connections to condition specific consultants in the event that the PAF can not address your needs.
Hire an Experienced Medical Billing Advocate
While free and low-cost medical billing advocates are an excellent option, you will benefit more from hiring an experienced professional. Experienced professionals will have more time available to dedicate to your case. Often, low-cost and free consultants work on numerous cases simultaneously and cannot devote the necessary time to your problem.
Experienced professionals are usually necessary for complex cases that involve large medical bills. According to Beckers Hospital Review, billing advocates and other healthcare professionals estimate that up to 80 percent of medical bills contain errors. These errors can cost you money. Because of this staggering statistic, hiring a professional is certainly worth the cost.
A Real Example
Consider the story of Bill Townsend. Townsend was in the hospital for a 10 day stay due to a heart condition. Townsend got saddled with a $156,000 hospital bill.Unfortunately, his insurance provider only covered a small portion leaving Townsend with a $75,000 bill. Townsend was shocked when he received the bill. It did not make sense to Townsend that his insurance provider did not cover more of the cost.
Throughout the course of a year, Townsend disputed and negotiated his bill with both the hospital and his insurance company. Townsend decided to consult a medical billing expert. He was able to get the bill reduced to $17,000.
Are Medical Billing Advocates Expensive?
Medical billing advocates are usually affordable for most people. However, their services aren’t free unless you hire the patient advocate employed at your hospital.
The amount you’ll pay for a medical billing advocate will vary depending on whether they charge an hourly rate or take a percentage. Hourly rates can range from $75 to $350 per hour. In addition Some operate on contingency, taking a percentage of the money that they save you. This can range from 25 percent to 35 percent.
Ultimately, hiring a medical billing advocate is always worth the expense if you get your bills reduced. Contact us today for a free quote and consultation and see if we’re the right healthcare consultants.
Next Steps: Before You Hire a Medical Billing Advocate: Ask Questions
Now that you know your options, you can hire the right medical advocate based on your needs and situation. Here are a few questions you should ask a potential medical billing advocate:
- How much will this cost me?
- What are your rates?
- Why are you qualified to be my medical billing advocate?
- Do you have experience with similar cases?
- Do you have references or referrals?
- What services do you offer?
- Can you help me with insurance issues?
- How much can you reduce my medical bills?
FAQs About Finding a Medical Billing Advocate
Is It Really Worth Hiring a Medical Billing Advocate?
If you are serious about getting rid of your medical bills, you should hire a professional medical billing advocate. Professional billing advocates are experts trained to assist with lowering your medical bills and assisting with insurance issues. Contact us to learn more about our services or to request a free quote.