A TikToker claims his medical bill was cut by 76% after asking the hospital for a detailed fee schedule.
“Tell me why my hospital bill went from $4,000 to $950 just because I asked for a receipt and a list of everything I was billed for,” reads the video, which was produced by Tre’jon Wilson ( @oh_thats_just_trey) was posted. “SMFH. They reduced my bill by 76%. Is it me or our healthcare system is a scam.”
@oh_thats_just_trey Isn’t that something ish 😂#fyp #ohthatsjusttre #quote #adulthumor ♬ nhạc nền – Minh_9388
The video garnered 3.6 million views and was ultimately viewed by Adam Conover, the former host of Adam ruins everything and current host of The G word. He is known for providing in-depth explanations of some systems both in the US and around the world.
“Oh yes, I can tell you exactly why this happened,” says Conover in his sting, which has been viewed nearly 7 million times. “That’s because the numbers on every hospital or doctor’s bill are simply fake and made up. If you are insured, your hospital must negotiate the price of the services with the insurance company. They set these super high ridiculous numbers as the starting point for these negotiations. The insurance says: ‘Bullshit, we’ll pay you a third of that.’ They haggle a bit and settle on a number.”
@adamconover Stitch with @Tre’jon Wilson ♬ Original sound – Adam Conover
Conover says the “crappy part” is that a patient who doesn’t have insurance is still presented with the padded bill and it’s up to them to negotiate. “So you could easily end up paying three, five, even ten times what the procedure actually costs,” he says.
However, he notes that there are some nonprofit organizations that claim to be medical billing advocates that negotiate a bill on the patient’s behalf.
According to Medliminal, cited in a report by CNBC, 25% of the bills it checked aren’t even billable. Many reports on how to negotiate a hospital bill suggest asking for an itemized bill first to ensure the charges are correct. Some reports also stress not paying a dime of the bill until negotiations are complete. And even after negotiations are complete, most healthcare providers are open to the patient entering into a payment plan so they don’t have to pay the bill right away.
Viewers brought in their own experiences and tips on how to successfully negotiate a medical bill. Even one viewer who claimed to be a medical biller urged those reading the comments section to “always ask for a detailed explanation.”
“Always. As a medical biller, I cringe when it’s right [explanation of benefits]’ they emphasized.
“Another tip for the doctor’s bill is to ask for an itemized bill,” wrote one commenter. “(Often) it will cut your price in half because there are laws about what they can charge.”
“Cancer and transplant patient here. Negotiating bills has become my life. it’s exhausting,” said another.
One viewer claimed he just ignored his $3,500 medical bill until it dropped to $75. Another claimed their bill went from $10,500 to $273 after they asked for a detailed receipt of their hour-long hospital stay.
The Daily Dot reached out to @oh_thats_just_trey via Instagram direct message and email to Adam Conover.
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*Initial publication: June 1, 2022 at 8:22 am CDT
Brooke Sjoberg is a freelance writer for the Daily Dot. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/hospital-bill-cut-receipts/ TikToker says hospital bill has been cut after asking for receipts