This is gleaned from “50 Secrets Hospitals won’t Tell You” from the Feb. 2016 Reader’s Digest…We offer these only as “suggestive things to think about” if you, as we, infrequently enter such establishments, and when we do, we’re often astonished by what we don’t know. [The wording below in some cases has been slightly modified or cut short.]
(1) Get copies of your labs, tests, and scans before you leave the hospital, along with your discharge summary and operative report if you had surgery. (“Sometimes harder to get later,” says one MD)
(2) Eight out of ten hospital bills we see (says a CEO of Medical Billing Advocates of America) contain an error, so check your bill carefully.
For more use the DOOR.
(3) Less-well-trained physicians will call in an abundance of consults to help them take care of a patient. Yes, it may be needed, but if they see you every day, you bill is being padded and padded.
(4) Fifteen to 30 percent of everything that’s done (says one MD)–tests, medications, and procedures–is unnecessary, research has shown. When your doctor suggests a test, ask why, what he expects to learn, and how your care will change if you don’t have it.
(5) Since every day in the hospital costs $4,293 on average (says an MD), one of the best ways to cut costs is to get out sooner.
(6) Hospitals say, “Don’t worry. We’re prepared for a serious disease like Ebola.” But nurses in the front lines…are (often) saying they aren’t prepared at all.
(7) Ask your nurses to do a “bedside shift change.” This is when they share information in your presence instead of at the nurses’ station. You can better correct any errors.
(8) It’s a lot cheaper–and usually OK–to bring your own medicines from home, but the hospital pharmacy may have to check them. Ask your doctor.
(9) There is more violence in hospitals than ever before. Nurses have been attacked, bitten, spit on, and choked. It’s partly because hospitals are no longer prescribing pain meds to addicts, and addicts can become very aggressive.
(10) Keep a notebook. Write down your questions, who’s coming into your room, and track conversations with different doctors. It’s east to get confused and disoriented in the hospital.