Atlantic Ave Magazine July 2016

Page 75

special feature ║ human health advocates

Medical Bills Got You Down?

Try Human Health Advocates By skip sheffield


Feel like you are being ripped off by your doctors, hospital and insurance companies?

Chances are you are being taken advantage by the sorry state of the American medical profession. Ken Klein has made it his mission to help people in financial distress due to medical emergencies. Klein founded Human Health Advocates, LLC to go to bat for people beleaguered by unexpected medical bills. For a fee, Klein will investigate the claims and confront the doctor, hospital or insurance company that may be over-charging or falsely charging for services rendered. Klein confronts those billing, and is often able to negotiate down or even eliminate fees. “Most people don’t understand balance billing,” explains Klein. “That happens when an in-network hospital sends in a specialist who is out-of-network. The patient is billed for what insurance won’t pay. It can run up into thousands of dollars.” Patients are at their most vulnerable when they are rushed to an emergency room. Sometimes they are not even conscious. The harsh reality comes weeks, even months later. Challenging an insurance company is particularly difficult. “It is very difficult for an ordinary person to contact an insurance person who has any authority,” Klein continues. “Often the initial call is not even a real person, but an android.” If you get the idea Klein doesn’t much like insurance companies, you are right. Even when a person thinks he is fully covered, there are ways the insurance companies can weasel out of paying. Klein has developed a way to break through the barriers. He does the same thing with hospital billing and doctor billing. He says there are three categories of people who find themselves in arrears. The first is the victims of balance billing, which is for

legitimate service, but out of the covered insurance network. Klein cites many examples when he dealt directly with the insurance company or the billing specialist and got charges reduced. The second category is uninsured people. You may think insurance premiums are too high and you can get along without it, but when something catastrophic happens, it can wipe you out financially. Klein has an inhouse coding specialist who presents what would be a more reasonable charge for someone of limited means and negotiates with the biller. A much larger category is the insured who has a very large deductible. Klein urges people to get Estimates of Benefits (EOB)

when signing up for insurance. Then there is the category of human error. Klein estimates 50 to 80 percent of medical bills have errors, including double billing, inappropriate billing or overcharges, and procedures deemed not necessary. Klein, a former lawyer, has devised a 45-minute counseling session to help people with the pitfalls of medical billing. “I have been doing this for several years, and I moved back to Boca Raton, where my wife and I used to live, two and a half years ago,” reveals Klein. “When I have a victory it makes me feel really good.” The web site is The local phone number is 561515-5313. | July 2016 73