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Patients Rights and Responsibilities: How to Navigate Medical Bills and Safeguard Finances in Arizona

Protecting Arizonans from Hidden Medical Costs (PHOTO: RDNE)

As medical care costs skyrocket, Arizonans are seeking clarity and empowerment regarding their patients’ rights and responsibilities.

Arizona’s New Guide on Patients Rights and Responsibilities

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The Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund recently highlighted an alarming patients rights and responsibilities trend: one in 10 adults in the U.S. is saddled with medical debt, with nearly 11 million owing amounts surpassing $2,000. Patients rights and responsibilities aren’t just about understanding bills but also ensuring accurate billing. Patricia Kelmar, health care director for the group, expressed concerns about the opaque nature of medical billing. “Many don’t realize the depth of their patients rights and responsibilities. Bills often arrive sporadically, making it difficult for patients to discern accurate charges,” Kelmar noted. She emphasized the necessity of requesting itemized lists of services post-treatment, ensuring that individuals fully exercise their patients’ rights and responsibilities to prevent overcharges. Errors aren’t uncommon in medical billing. Kelmar underlined that these bills are compiled by humans, and mistakes can slip through. Recognizing the significance of patients rights and responsibilities, she urges everyone not to take their bills at face value. With hospitals now mandated to disclose prices for their top 300 most “shoppable services,” armed with knowledge, patients can negotiate charges down, reflecting a proper balance of patients rights and responsibilities.

Delving into Patients Rights and Responsibilities

Protecting Arizonans from Hidden Medical Costs (PHOTO: RDNE)

The introduction of the No Surprises Act further underscores the balance between patients rights and responsibilities. Uninsured individuals can now request a good-faith estimate for anticipated care costs. Kelmar advises patients to retain these estimates. “If the final bill exceeds the initial estimate by $400 or more, the provider can be held accountable,” she stated, reinforcing the importance of understanding patients rights and responsibilities. For those with insurance, patients rights and responsibilities come into play, especially in emergency situations. Kelmar insists on using in-network doctors or hospitals to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. While the No Surprises Act shields patients from unexpected bills in out-of-network emergency rooms, it doesn’t extend to urgent care centers. “Before emergencies arise, know your in-network urgent care locations. It’s integral to patients rights and responsibilities,” Kelmar emphasized.

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