Posts tagged ‘hospital’

How to Save 25% on Medical Bills

By Kaye Nemec | Contributor

If you’ve recently undergone some sort of medical procedure and are nervous about the number of digits when the bill arrives, relax. Medical bills aren’t necessarily black and white; some frugal patients have discovered a secret.

According to a recent New York Times article, most hospitals and doctor’s offices are willing to negotiate price if it means at least part of their bill actually gets paid. In a time when the economy isn’t exactly booming and some people can’t afford health care, more and more medical bills are left untouched. If you’re looking to steer clear of collection agencies and maintain your credit, you may be able to benefit from other people’s “dine & ditch” version of medical procedures.

So what’s the trick? Haggle.

Call your doctor, hospital, dentist etc. and ask them to give you a discount if you pay your entire bill immediately over the phone. Angie’s List recently performed a consumer survey about this topic and found that 74% of people received a discount on medical bills simply by asking for it.

If you’re the planning ahead type, check out the website HealthCareBlueBook.com before scheduling a medical procedure. They’ll give you an estimate of what some of the most common procedures should cost, that way you can shop around and see how much various providers are charging. Once you find the best deal, schedule the appointment, then call afterward to haggle your discount. Check out their section on How to Negotiate Healthcare Prices for even more tips on lowering your bill.

Even if you’ve never used the salesperson of the month parking spot, it’s easy to ask for a discount. The worst that can happen is: they say, “no”

Your request can be as simple as, “Hello. I have a labor and delivery bill from your hospital for $1,700.00 and I heard that if I pay it in full over the phone I can get a 25% discount. I’d like to go ahead and do that today.”

I’m wondering, could this also work at the vet? If you thought medical bills for humans were outrageous, try having a puppy and you’ll soon learn what astronomical looks like.

Broken Secrets

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Sources: NYT, CBSNews.com, Angie’s List, HealthCareBlueBook.com

Photo: Maxios (cc)

July 29, 2010 at 5:00 am 13 comments

Secret Codes in Public Places

By Chad Upton | Editor

I was at Walmart today and I realized, I absolutely love that place — I feel like a supermodel in there.

While there, I heard an announcement for “Code C” and I had to know what it was.

You see, airports, retail stores and hospitals all have secret codes to announce information to staff without causing alarm to the general public.

Walmart actually has a lot of these codes and for good reason. Perhaps the most well known code is “Code Adam.” It was invented by Walmart 1984 and it’s now used by many different companies, all over the world.

It’s named after Adam Walsh, son of America’s Most Wanted TV host John Walsh. Adam was kidnapped from a Sears store in 1981 and murdered. Walmart actually has a very strict policy about this code. All employees drop what they’re doing, some watch the doors and other sweep the store looking for the child. Employees do nothing else until the child is found.

Other Walmart Codes:

  • Code Black – Severe weather (ex. tornado warning)
  • Code Blue – Bomb threat
  • Code Brown – Shooting
  • Code Green – Hostage situation
  • Code Orange – Chemical spill
  • Code Red – Fire
  • Code White – Accident
  • Code C – Customer service or cashier needed
  • Code 300 or Department 51 – Security

Walmart also has color coded pillars in their stores:

  • Blue – Telephone
  • Red – Fire extinguisher
  • Orange – “Spill-O-Magic” station

Boat/Ship/Vessel Codes

  • Code Oscar or Mr. MOB – Man overboard
  • Bravo, Bravo, Bravo – Serious incident such as a fire
  • Mr Skylight – Minor incident
  • Code Blue – Medical emergency

Hospital Codes

  • Code Blue, Code 90, Code 45 – Cardiac arrest
  • Code Red, Dr Red, Dr Pyro, Dr Firestone – Fire
  • Code Grey, Code Silver – Combative or violent person
  • Code Orange – Mass casualty incident
  • Code Black, Code Brown – Extreme weather warning

These are the most common codes, obviously some of these codes will be known by other code names in certain places. Some countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States have standards for these codes, but they differ from each other and many other countries do not have standards.

Broken Secrets

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Sources: Wikipedia, Google Answers, Wal-mart Info, UPHAA, Vessel Emergency Codes, Hospital Codes

July 12, 2010 at 5:00 am 45 comments


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