People across Twitter are calling out the ominous workings of this sham of a healthcare system by sharing how they got their exorbitant bills drastically reduced simply by pushing back a little.
By now it is common knowledge that the U.S. healthcare system is all sorts of broken. An overwhelming number of Americans are haunted by debilitating medical bills and spend a lifetime trying to pay them off. Let's not even get into the whole mess of insurance providers that more often than not do very little of what's promised. However, people are now calling out the ominous workings of this sham of a healthcare system by sharing how they got their exorbitant bills drastically reduced simply by pushing back a little.
Twitter user Yolanda recently got the ball rolling when she revealed how her $4000 hospital bill went all the way down to $950 when she asked for an itemized bill. i.e., by asking for a detailed list of the services she was charged for, she managed to get her bill lowered by a whopping 76%. As Yolanda put it: "Our health care system is a SCAM." The tweet quickly went viral on the platform with other netizens sharing similar stories of how itemized bills protected their wallets. Some Twitter users also shared other ways to get a medical bill slashed and it leaves you to wonder why there's such a huge discrepancy between the original charges and the ones asking for an itemized bill can get you.
ALWAYS be smart like this person and ask for the itemized bill. Hospital will remove all their attempts to charge you $90 for Tylenol and etc https://t.co/aRNijO0jmO— Pascalle Lepas (@lepas) April 26, 2020
Y’all this is so true!! If you have a medical bill ask them for a itemized bill. My hospital bill went from $995 to $283 🙃 https://t.co/po3MeottdP— tequa (@_tequaxoxo) April 24, 2020
I asked for an itemized receipt as to why a single liter bag of normal saline cost 1,000$. They just took it off the bill instead. We need to demand better hospital billing practices. https://t.co/LKGZx95rg1— Henry VIII (@HenryVI34339542) April 25, 2020
Anytime you go to a hospital ask for an itemized bill. Also, if you need medications such as Tylenol try buying them at the store instead. Hospitals will charge up to $15 for 1 pill when you can buy a full bottle for $7. A box of gloves: $53. Be mindful when you can. https://t.co/RLLxfMAmuB— $uga (@sasgtlc) April 24, 2020
Also call them and ask for an itemized bill! Most of the time they will knock a huge chunk of the price off because hospitals don’t want to explain why they charged you $70 for a fucking band-aid. https://t.co/JgHvB7o2mC— peyton 🦋 (@sincerelypey) April 23, 2020
Speaking to Vox, Sue Null—a professional patient advocate at a firm called Systemedic—explained that getting a discount on a medical bill is an uphill battle that involves two crucial factors: the right information and the right person. She recommends finding any and all documentation on how your hospital visit was coded and the services that were provided. Like Yolanda, and all the other folks swearing by the bill-reduction powers of an itemized bill request, Null recommends tracking down an itemized bill even though this might prove to be a time-consuming effort.
ITEMIZED BILLS PEOPLE. ask for itemized bills ALWAYS. It will cut down expenses SO much. My source: I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 15 goddamn years with over a dozen hospital visits, procedures and major surgery I know my shit just do it!! https://t.co/SW8DNSVAlD— Abby Davies (@abbydabbies) April 24, 2020
Had an ER hospital bill that was $1,867.00. Saw someone post on here to call and ask for an itemized bill with every single charge. I OWE $20 NOW. America’s the biggest scammer.— Meron (@meronbdereje) April 23, 2020
Lmao when I went to the ER bcs I was DYING they tried to charge me $100 for one tums 💀 bill was like 20k+ total and my dad threatened to call every news network about it and they cancelled our bill 😂— kristin 💕 (@kristinationn) April 25, 2020
I’m still in shock right now because that’s an IMMENSE difference. Hospital’s shouldn’t even be allowed to do that. Like wtf— Lyss (@goddesslyss_xo) April 24, 2020
One time I received a $450 bill (months after I was at the hospital) that was explained as a fee for a doctor I never saw to “sign off” on the NP’s work. After 10 minutes of arguing the billing person settled for $75.— tooz (@r_tooz87) April 25, 2020
Once you do get an itemized bill, scan it for any discrepancies—charges for services that weren't provided, duplicate fees, exceptionally high prices for something, etc. To determine whether the prices listed in the bill are within reasonable limits, you can compare it with information on databases like Fair Health or Healthcare Bluebook. These databases will give you an idea of what nearby doctors and hospitals typically charge for the care you received.
Had a $22k hospital bill, let that shit run into collections. Called collections, asked for an itemized bill, they couldn’t even provide me one so they cancelled the debt. https://t.co/UryDrmAGqa— King Petty (@angeld_20) April 25, 2020
Y’all better call these hospitals. My bill just went from over $2,000 to $400. They be lying and getting over on people. Ask for an itemized breakdown of your bill.— Lil Baby 💍 (@DatDamnShorty) April 27, 2020
literally just did this over an ER visit in January... it went from over $4k to $460 and my only line item was "Emergency Room Admittance"— LEX 👽 (@hotgirlintech) April 25, 2020
Back and plead my case saying no, please call my insurance AGAIN and double check. They call me back 30 minutes later saying “I’m so sorry, you ARE covered 100%. We don’t know how we missed that” 🙄 had I not doubled checked I would’ve paid over 2,000 for nothing!!!— Summer Daniel (@summydaniel) April 25, 2020
TikTok user Shaunna Burns went viral late last year for her tips on how to deal with medical bills. "The fact that there are people out there thinking debt equal deadbeat ... debt doesn't equal deadbeat. I'm not a deadbeat, and I have great credit, and I'm still having to deal with debt collection," she told Business Insider at the time. "I literally spent hours a week fighting with insurance companies over stupid bills that shouldn't have been charged... having to do all that is annoying and frustrating, and I thought if I could help one person [with the TikToks], it would be worth it."