Most doctors would say that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure but still, some of us will eventually be sick enough to be hospitalized. The cause could be a result of infection, trauma from accident, an elective surgery for aesthetic enhancement, and physiologic illness like diabetes and hypertension. Being hospitalized is very expensive not to mention the doctors who charge their patients excessively. Hospital bills also increase as a result of expensive medicines sold by hospitals.
I have been a nurse in a hospital for quite some time, although the patients gets better after hospitalization, depression sets in as bills piles up. Now here are the 10 tips I could give to help families and patients reduce their hospital bills.
1. Choose General Ward – When being admitted in a hospital, choose the ward unless you have a lot of money or you have a private health insurance aside from the public health insurance. The general rule in being admitted in a hospital is the bills of the patient from doctors, medicines and laboratory test depends on your room. The cost of medicine and the prize of laboratory increases in private rooms than in ward. Doctors will also charge their professional fees base in the room you are admitted. Overall, you can save up to 150 to 200% if you choose ward over private rooms.
2. Choose Generic Medicine – If you are having financial problems then its better to choose Generic Medicine. Although some doctors would recommend branded medicines, still generic medicines works the same as branded medicine since they have the same component.
3. Buy Medicines Outside – The prize of medicines in some hospitals is much expensive compare to the pharmacies. If you want to save more money, then its better to buy medicines outside the hospitals especially if you do not have a health insurance.
4. Be Insured- The worst thing when being hospitalized is when you are admitted without health insurance. Health insurance is very important since it cuts your hospital bills up to 40% or could be more if you hold both public (government) and private health insurance. Health insurance covers medicines, doctors fee, laboratory examinations and room accommodation so having health insurance is very important.
5. Choose your Doctor – If a family member or a patient know a doctor then its better that a patient get admitted under his or her care. Some doctors will charge you less since they know them and some can even plea for more discounts especially if the patient or family member is close with the doctor.
6. Listen to the Nurses – Some patients only listen to their doctors and tend to ignore the nurses. Remember that nurses are the ones who monitors and takes good care of the patients 24 hours a day. If the nurse ask the patient to drink plenty of fluids then the patient should follow since nurses only wants what its best for their patients. Patients who listens to their nurses recovers much faster than those stubborn ones.
7. Focus on Recovering – Patients need to only focus on recovering while the family supports the patient. Patients who are thinking too much about their disease and hospital bills would only put them under more stress which delays recovery and this could mean more hospital stay and more hospital bills to pay.
8. Have a second opinion – If a patient is for an elective surgery such as removal of gall bladder stones then its better to have a second opinion. Patients should ask the doctor how much would it cost them if they are to be operated or admitted under their care. Some doctors would even charge lesser compare to others and in some instances, you wont need to pay them a single penny at all especially if the doctor is affiliated by the patient health insurance.
9. Choose Hospitals wisely – Although its a given if the hospital have a good name, then being admitted is much expensive compare to other hospitals. Remember that its very important for patients to choose hospitals wisely. If you get admitted in a hospital with poor quality, chances of getting hospital acquired infection would also increase. This means more hospital stay and more bills to pay. Instead of saving more money, you will end paying more.
10. Provide Cotton Balls and Gauze – Some patients tend to ignore the cotton balls and gauze being use for them. What they did not know is how much would a single cotton ball or a pack of gauze is charge to them. Patients will be surprise how much of this small things would cost them.
Being sick and hospitalized is not an excuse to waste excessive money in hospitals. Just like any consumers, patients too have the right to choose and the right to be well informed for a better and affordable health care.
© 2011, Filipino Nurses. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The accuracy of all articles contained in this website are the responsibility of their respective authors. All articles are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The owner of this site disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on these information. If you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician. If you feel ill, please seek medical attention immediately.