Cervical Cancer: Is Your Child at Risk? by ProQuest


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									Billing—Continued from page 25          is responsible to pay. Most often,       look at what your child’s doctor’s
                                        after a subscriber has met her de-       office billed for that last visit. Visits
When they receive a bill from their
                                        ductible and paid any copayment          to specialists are even more reveal-
doctor’s office or an explanation of
                                        or coinsurance, the doctor’s office      ing. Though you may not have paid
                                        will write off the difference between    a dime, your insurance company
Explanation of Benefits                 what it bills for a procedure and        may have been overcharged for a
An explanation of benefits (EOB) is     what the insurance will pay for it,      visit. Occasionally your child’s doc-
what an insurance company sends         so most insured patients will never      tor’s office may bill for a longer visit
the subscriber after the office visit   know that their doctor’s office billed   than actually occurred since the
that explains how the claim was         more than what their insurance will      insurance company won’t question
processed. By cross checking the        pay since they will not receive a bill   it if the visit length was likely. If
CPT and diagnosis codes on the en-      from the doctor’s office.                you look at your EOB and wonder
counter form that you saved from                                                 why a 15-minute office visit was
                                        But, if you’ve ever received a bill
the office visit with what is listed                                             billed as a 60-minute office visit,
                                        from your child’s doctor’s office
on the EOB, you can determine                                                    call your doctor’s office and ask.
                                        for more than just a copayment
what procedures were covered                                                     Or, if you see a procedure on the
                                        amount (e.g. the entire office
and how much money, if any, you                                                  EOB that you know your child didn’t
                                        visit or a several-hundred dollar
owe. If there’s ever a question or                                               have performed during that visit, it
                                        in-office procedure), then you’ve
discrepancy about how much a                                                     could be a simple coding error. But
                                        probably called up the office to
procedure cost, or why a diagno-                                                 you should find out.
                                        find out why you were billed. This
sis wasn’t covered, you need your
                                        is why you should always save the        Being an educated consumer does
EOB to use as a reference. As all
                                        encounter forms and EOBs. If you         not only mean understanding the
EOBs state, they are not bills, just
                                        have a scanner and computer, mak-        latest research behind your child’s
explanations of claims.
                                        ing electronic copies and backing        health, but also better understand-
Each EOB lists the patient, the visit   them up on a separate disk or drive      ing how you can be a more proac-
date, the procedures billed, how        is a space-saving way to keep good       tive consumer of health insurance.
much the provider charged for           insurance records.                       Your child’s doctor’s office is re-
each procedure (amount billed),                                                  sponsible for accurately billing your
how much the insurance will pay         Even if you’ve never received a          insurance company, but it’s your
for each procedure (amount al-          medical bill but wonder why health-      responsibility to make sure you
lowed), and how much the patient        care costs so much, take a closer        understand what they’ve billed.

Cervical Cancer: Is Your Child at Risk?                                                By Valerie Marchini, RN

The American Cancer Society             It is hard for parents to think of       to other less common genital can-
estimates in 2008 about 11,070          their children as sexually active, so    cers, such as cancer of the anus,
women would be diagnosed with           they may not think their child is at     vagina and vulva. Some strains of
invasive cervical cancer in the Unit-   risk for developing HPV infections.      HPV can cause warts in the genital
ed States, claiming about 3,870         HPV is spread through skin-to-skin       areas of men and women. Other
American lives in 2008.                 and mucus membrane contact dur-          strains cause warts on the hands
                                        ing sexual activity. Becaus
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