5 Hidden Costs of a Senior Parent's Hospital Stay

By Michelle Cemental

When your senior loved one is spending time in the hospital, it is already a stressful time. The only thing you should be worrying about is your loved one's health. Unfortunately, for many, a stay at the hospital can mean financial hurt, whether your loved one has insurance or not. To help you and your loved one prepare for the financial burden of a hospital stay, check out these 5 hidden costs.

1. Facility Fees

Not only can hospitals charge you for the room you use but also for the physician who sees you and for the simple fact that you walked into the hospital. Facility fees can apply to tests, consultations, and more. These fees are used to cover the hospital's overhead and can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

2. Charges Related to Time

The average hospital stay is shorter than ever because hospitals want to push patients quickly to make room for more possible patients. If you have to stay an extra day or are discharged at a later time during the day, the hospital may charge you for more of the hospital's "time" than was originally allotted.

3. Medication

Though most insurance companies offer prescription coverage, that coverage can vary. When your senior loved one is in the hospital, you are charged for every bit of medication, supplies, and other necessities used. Hospitals can also charge what they want for medication, which means 1 or 2 doses can turn into a charge for the entire bottle.

4. Rogue Charges

Sometimes you need to watch your loved one's bill for fees that should be included in other charges. For instance, when you have surgery, the doctor's gloves and instruments should be included in your surgery fee and not as a separate charge. You may also be charged for personal care items or food, which should also be included in the cost of your stay/room. These types of rogue charges, however, can be disputed.

5. Double Billing

Though it happens more than it should, double billing is usually the result of a computer error. Double-billing happens when your loved one is charged more than once for the same service. For example, you may get billed for two physicians on their shift, even though only one of them came in to see you. You may also receive two or more procedures during the same surgery and get charged for each. It's important to watch for these types of charges so they can be disputed.

After your loved one comes home, it is important to help them stay healthy and follow the doctor's orders. If care and recovery instructions aren't followed properly, your loved one may end up back in the hospital incurring more bills. Know that support is available. Learn how Caring Senior Service can help you, by providing care for your senior, please contact a team near you.

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Tags: Finances, Hospital