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A Patient's Guide to Medical Records and Codes

Patients are given reams of paperwork that contain confusing numbers and letters. These are medical codes that describe everything from services performed to our diagnosis and treatment. Those codes are then used on our bills and other paperwork making the entire billing process confusing. Understanding basic medical billing and coding is a good tool for an empowered patient.

Patients can use medical codes to learn more about their diagnosis, learn...
Medical codes are used to describe diagnoses and treatments, determine costs and reimbursements, and relate one disease or drug to another. Patients can use medical codes to learn more about their diagnosis, learn more about the services their practitioner has provided, or even to double check their billing from either their providers or their...

What Patients Can Learn from Current Procedural Terminology CPT Codes
Among the most useful information we can learn about our medical problems, how they are being treated, and how they relate to our medical billing are the CPT codes found on almost every medical record that exists about our medical care. Here is a list of articles that help us patients learn from CPT codes and get that background information we...

What are CPT Codes?
CPT codes are developed by the American Medical Association and are used by doctors and other healthcare practitioners to describe medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures used on patients. Learn more about these codes and how you can use them to manage the cost of your care.

How CPT Code Changes May Cost Patients Money from their Pockets
Each year the AMA adds new CPT codes and deletes old ones. That leads to an increase in billing mistakes which can eventually cost patients money from their own pockets. Learn how CPT code changes may cost you money and how to make sure they don't.

Matching CPT Codes and the Services They Represent
CPT Codes, Current Procedural Terminology Codes, are found all over a patient's medical paperwork. They relate to billing, and tracking them is a good way to track the cost of our care. Here's how and where to find CPT codes.

How to Look Up a CPT Code and Learn How Much Your Doctor Was Paid
Look up CPT codes to get answers about what codes relate to what medical procedures and services, and how much your doctor and hospital may have been paid for those services.

What are Medicare's HCPCS Codes?
HCPCS codes are Medicare codes and are used by doctors and other healthcare practitioners to describe and bill medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures used on patients. Learn more about these codes and how you can use them to manage the cost of your care.

What are ICD-9 or ICD-10 Codes?
ICD codes are used to classify diagnoses and causes of death, too. Here is some background information about ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes to help you understand what they are, and how they can affect your care.

Look Up Your ICD-9 or ICD-10 Code or Match It to the Diagnosis It Represents
ICD-9 or ICD-10 Codes, International Classification of Disease Codes, assign a number to any diagnosis assigned to a patient. There are a handful of uses for them, including an effect on the cost of care.

How to Get Your Doctor to Return Telephone Calls or Email
Once you understand the reasons your doctor won't return a telephone call or an email, then you can better understand how to get him or her to communicate with you by phone or email anyway. Here are some steps to take to engage your doctor by phone or email.

Why Won't My Doctor Call Me Back on the Telephone or Exchange Email with Me?
Many patients get frustrated because they would like to make a quick phone call or send an email to their doctors - but their doctors won't call them back, or reply to an email. Learn why it's so difficult to find a physician who will communicate with their patients using the telephone or email.

Look Up Medicare's HCPCS Codes
HCPCS codes are used to reimburse doctors for their care of Medicare patients. You may find HCPCS codes on your medical bills. Use this procedure for your free HCPCS codes look up.

CPT and HCPCS Codes for Telephone Calls and Emails Between Doctors and Patients
CPT and HCPCS codes have been developed so doctors can be reimbursed for their time spent on the telephone or exchanging email with patients. Learn more about these codes and what to do if you find them on your bill or your estimate of benefits.

How to Read a Doctor's Bill or Medical Bill
There is a wealth of information about your health and healthcare in your medical bills. Knowing how to find the information will help you manage your health and medical care, plus your medical expenses.

Reading a Doctor's Medical Services Receipt
As you leave the doctor's office, you are given a receipt for the medical services performed during your visit. Understanding the information on that receipt will help you learn about your visit, and keep track of medical expenses, too.

Reading Your Payer's EOB - Explanation of Benefits
Since most of us don't pay our medical providers directly, it's wise to study our insurance or payer's Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to understand how services are covered, and how our doctors get paid.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Copies of Your Medical Records?
When you request copies of your medical records, you may be charged for them. Learn how how much it costs to obtain copies of your medical records.

How to Get Your Medical Records if Your Doctor Is No Longer in Practice
Sometimes doctors close their practices, or they retire or sell their practices, or even die, leaving their practice in new hands. If your doctor is no longer in practice, here is how to find, then get copies of your health or medical records.

Correcting Errors on Your Medical Records
Even the smallest discrepancy on your medical records can make a huge difference in your diagnosis or treatment. Knowing where those errors are found, and how to correct them may keep you healthier.

How to Correct Errors in your Medical Records
From simple typos to major mistakes in the recording of medical test results or symptoms, errors are commonly found in patients' medical records. Smart patients know how important it is to make corrections to their records, and the procedure for making those corrections.

What Are Bundled Medical Codes?
Learn more about bundled medical codes, how they are used, why they may be expensive for you, and where to find them.

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