Save on Hospital Services

Hunt for hospital quality.

Choose a hospital that has a good success record with the kind of surgery you need. You are less likely to die or have serious problems if the hospital does the surgery a lot. What is “a lot”? Some experts say the hospital should do a surgery at least 200 times a year. If the surgery you need is rare, that may not be possible. Ask about the hospital's experience with surgeries like yours. Talk to your doctor, the hospital administrator, or the hospital's chief of staff.


Avoid hospital germs.

Five to 10% of all hospital patients will get an infection they did not have before they were in the hospital. To protect yourself:

•  Be well-rested and well fed before you go to the hospital.

•  Check that persons who give you care wash or sanitize their hands.

•  If a roommate gets pneumonia, ask to have your room changed.

Control consults.

You could get a hospital bill for a doctor visit that you didn't even know about. To avoid this, try to make sure your doctor knows that you or someone acting for you must approve a consult with another doctor. If you can, ask your insurance company if the cost of the consult is covered in part or in full.

Keep track of hospital services.

Keep a list of services you get. Compare the list to your hospital bill. Have a friend or relative make the list if you can't. Also, ask for an itemized bill and check it. Some common things to note are:

•  Doctor visits. X-rays. Tests.

•  Medicines (pills, shots, IVs).

•  Giving blood samples.

•  Consults and services with specialists.

•  Anesthesia. Surgery. Receiving blood.

•  Room charges. Telephone and TV charges.

You stay, you pay.

Find out when hospital check out time is and make plans to follow it. If not, you may be charged for an extra day.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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