Understanding Your Medical Bill

When you receive a medical bill from a healthcare provider or medical billing service in St. Louis, MO, it will most likely feature a variety of components and sections that you may not understand. This tends to be the codes, descriptions of the codes and accompanying prices. It can be difficult to know what you’re looking at if you’re not familiar with medical billing and coding.

Here’s a quick look at the elements of your medical bill you’re most likely to come across:

  • Statement date: This one’s simple enough. This is the date on which your healthcare provider printed the bill to send it to you.
  • Account number: Every patient will be assigned their own unique account number, which makes it easier for the healthcare facility to track billing. If you call in with any questions about your bills or your balance, it’s important that you have this number handy to provide it to the person you’re talking to. Account numbers will also be needed when you pay a bill online.
  • Description: There will be a short phrase on your bill that describes the type of service or supplies you received while in the care of medical staff.
  • Service date: Your bill will have a column that lists all the dates on which you received each described medical service.
  • Charges: This is the full price for all services or supplies received before insurance will cover anything.
  • Billed charges: This is the amount of money for which you are billed. You might be billed directly, or it could be your insurance provider who is billed.
  • Adjustment: The adjustment is the amount of money the healthcare provider has agreed not to charge you for your medical care.
  • Insurance payments: This is the amount of money your insurance provider already agreed to pay. You may be able to negotiate additional payments with your insurance provider, but that is your responsibility and will not be reflected on your initial bill.
  • Patient payments: This is the amount of money for which you will be responsible for paying out of pocket. You might not have to pay for anything, depending on the kind of care you received and the type of insurance you have, but you might have a significant bill if insurance doesn’t provide much assistance.
  • Balance or amount due: This is the amount you currently owe the healthcare provider. If you pay in installments, your patient payments number will remain the same, but the balance will change as you pay back the medical facility over time.
  • Payable to: This is the organization or recipient to whom you should address all payments made via check.
  • Service code: In some cases, you might see a service code listed on your bill. Coding protocol is generally for internal use, so if you see it on your bill it’s not likely to be something you need to worry about.

For more information about medical billing services in St. Louis, MO and tips for decoding your medical bills, we encourage you to contact Midwest Core Billing today.