When you have a medical emergency or need a treatment that requires a hospital stay, financial burden may be the last thing on your mind. You can cut costs in the hospital by being proactive about your care.
Save on Meds at the Hospital
The hospital you choose may have policies that prohibit some savings.
- Bring your own meds
Some hospitals relabel and distribute your own medications to you, and others require that you use the hospital pharmacy. These medications can be costly.
- Get a prescription filled prior to hospitalization
For a planned procedure, your doctor may prescribe your medication prior to your visit so that you can have it filled at the pharmacy of your choice.
- Ask for generic drugs
When you are consciously able to choose, ask for generic drugs that will be cheaper and just as effective.
Stay Within Network
Your doctor may be in your network, your procedure may be pre-approved and covered by your policy, but some aspects of your care may be outside your network. Some insurance policies cover a good portion of the cost if the provider is within the network, out-of-network care can double or triple your cost.
- Sign a “limited consent” clause
San Francisco attorney, Olga Baker, suggests adding a limited consent clause to financial responsibility paperwork. Add a notation stating that your consent for care is limited to in-network care only and excludes out-of-network care.
- Establish a medical power of attorney
By establishing a medical power of attorney, you protect your medical decisions even while you aren’t able to make those decisions. A medical power of attorney is a trusted person whom you legally place in a decision-making role regarding your care. Your medical POA can sign off on care and make sure that providers are within network.
Avoid Costly Extras
It can be tempting to take advantage hospital extras. Be aware that everything you leave the hospital with comes at a cost (unless it specifically states that the item is donated). If you’re unsure about an item, ask.