Into the Unit is dedicated to helping you with the multiple scenarios you may find yourself in while visiting the hospital.
We created Into the Unit to assist others in what we were finding out. What did we find out you may ask. Let's just say that there were a number of misunderstood bills, lab test, and insurance confusion on our end. We will not forget to mention the waiting game.
It can be an overwhelming experience to those who may not know what to expect. Into the Unit is here to help guide you on what to prepare for and what to expect so that you can have peace of mind. Whether your visit is a 2:00 am speed race to the emergency room, scheduled visits for maternity, lab exams, insurance claims, and much much more, we are your #1 source for guidance.
Quick Tips for an ER Visit:
Bring a friend: Sounds simple, but it can pay dividends to have an advocate with you to ask doctors when test results are due and when they expect to be seen.
Entertainment: Don't be stuck watching children's programming for 5 hours. Bring a magazine, book, or ipod that you can listen to. Odds are that food and drinks are prohibited at the ER, so eat a snack beforehand. That is of course if it is allowed per doctor's orders.
Have your paperwork ready: Make sure you bring a list of any medications you are taking or any allergies. More than likely you will need to proof of insurance at some point, so put that in a small folder as well.
What's the process: Understand why you are there. If you are not carrying your leg in your arm, you will be a part of the process (wait in line, paperwork, wait, take vitals, wait some more, get called back into another waiting room, and so on). If you have immediate needs, contact the charge nurse.
Protection: Why are most people in the hospital? Because they have some sort of ailment that needs medical attention. And with that may come multiple germs. Keep your hands clean and sanitized at all times.
Understanding the Billing Process:
The billing process is the interaction between the insurance company and the health care provider. The timeline of this entire process (aka: billing cycle) can be as quickly as a few days or up to several months to complete, sometimes requiring multiple interaction. The office visit kick starts this process and the office staff will either create a new medical record or update your existing one. Basic information is provided such as name, social security #, phone #, etc. The medical record may also include confidential information. For example, diagnosis, medications, examination details, and more.
Based upon the examination, a corrective level of service will be issued that will be used to bill the insurance. This level of services is often translated into a standardized 5 digit code from the Current Procedural Terminology. The verbal diagnosis also gets transferred into a code from either the ICD-9-CM or ICD-10-CM.
After the codes are determined, the medical biller will submit the claim to the insurance provider, mainly electronically through a clearinghouse. However, physical mailing is often still used. Once the insurance provider determines the amount of coverage they will provide (figured from co-pay, deductible, co-insurance amounts), they will send a bill to you with whatever payments terms are spelled out in your policy.
One good way to understand what exactly goes on day to day in the hospital, look no further than the words of actual nurses. They are the ones in the heat of moment saving lives. They also have other lives besides their jobs (as we all do), but the level of stress and responsibility they endure are quite respectible. Some very interesting stories can be found here. You will start to understand a little bit of the nature of business. It may make you think twice before you start to say or think something about your nurse. This is one of our favorite blogs.