How Will My Bills Change? Will I Get More? Will I Get Less?

By Ryan Staib Posted : 05/18/2010

Have you ever returned from a medical facility or a hospital stay only to receive several confusing statements of charges billed to your insurance company weeks later?

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First the bill for your stay or office visit and physician exam, then a separate one for X-rays, another for a blood test, and yet another bill for a service you didn't even know you had. And not only does it create busy work for you to figure out what it all means, write out various checks and mail them, it also results in millions of dollars in wasted government income each year.

With the new healthcare plan signed into law recently, doctors and hospitals will begin to -"bundle-" payments for Medicare patients, billing for an episode of care rather than charging separately for each procedure or treatment. This not only reduces unnecessary costs and saves you time, it'll encourage physicians to be more efficient and ultimately will improve the continuity of your overall care. It will also discourage unnecessary tests and lengthy hospital stays.

Bundling payments means the hospital or medical facility and its physicians share the payment for each episode of care, reducing the cost to a fixed amount and creating an opportunity to better coordinate your treatment. Enhancing the quality of care for patients will reduce total healthcare costs in the long run and keep you healthier.

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