Insured Americans Can Fight Back: Don’t Just Lie Down and Pay Your Hospital Bill

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Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Dr. David Wilcox.

Health Transparency: The Real Truth with Dr. David Wilcox 

Many times the average healthcare consumer receives a hospital bill and have no idea what services they are paying for. That is by design as medical terminology is a different language. It’s based in Latin which is very hard to understand. Latin is a dead language for a reason, except in healthcare where it is very much alive.

The average healthcare consumer simply pays the hospital bill without any questions as they have no idea what’s on the statement. Sometimes people even use credit cards and pay astronomical interest rates thus paying even more than what they were originally charged! Let’s dissect the healthcare billing machine by learning what a former US Surgeon General, who was overcharged for an emergency department (ED) visit is doing and what options you as a healthcare consumer have in this area.

Dr. Jerome Adams posted his ordeal on social media and it’s still trending. The good doctor was hiking in Arizona while out of town on a business trip and became lightheaded. His friends called an ambulance and the emergency medical technicians (EMT) started him on IV fluid and whisked him away to the ED at the Mayo Clinic.

By the time he arrived, he was feeling better but the ED staff gave him a complete workup which included more IV fluids, lab tests, a chest X-ray to rule out a heart attack, and observation time. The next morning, he was released, feeling fine.

Dr. Adams has a high deductible insurance plan meaning that he has a lower premium in exchange for a higher deductible so he knew he was going to have a large bill. He knew the same services in his local community would cost him approximately $500 out of pocket. What he didn’t expect was a bill for $5000 after insurance! That’s ten times more costly than what he would have paid at home.

Understanding medical terms he began to dissect his bill. He knew that dehydration was a level 4 ED visit, yet the hospital charged him for a level 5 which is more expensive. When you show up in an ED they bill you based on a rating system of 1-5 with 5 being the most expensive. That’s a payment you make just to get in the door. After that, they add on all the extra tests and things that you may need during your stay. Dr. Adams also realized the hospital charged him 11 times the going rate in the region for his blood test, while his EKG was three times more expensive, and his X-ray was twice as costly.

Being in the medical field Dr. Adams could break down his bill and negotiate to reduce his costs. So what can the average healthcare consumer do to obtain the same results? The first thing is to ask for an itemized copy of your bill. This will help you see all the services and tests you were charged for. Then you can analyze and begin your research on the charges. In Dr. Adams’s case, he knew dehydration should be charged at a level 4 ED visit not a level five.

Other options are available to you as a healthcare consumer. If you need some you can hire an expert to look over your bill and reduce the charges. There are several options available.

National nonprofit Dollar For, helps eligible Americans obtain charity care. They recommend two for-profit companies, for those who don’t qualify for their services: Goodbill and Resolve. You submit your information and they assign an advocate to work on your case. Neither charges an upfront fee. Instead, they take a percentage of what they save you. If they save you nothing, they get nothing.

Another option if you have a Mastercard and want constant medical bill monitoring, you may be able to link your health insurance accounts to HealthLock which can protect a user’s medical data from breaches and organize deductibles, claims, and provider information in a secure, digital space. Users pay a monthly fee, depending on the services they want.

Whenever you get care, including dental and vision, when new claims are entered, HealthLock can automatically analyze and flag each one for potential errors, fraud, or overbilling. Plus you don’t have to upload any information. The system will look back up to two years to check for irregularities. If it finds any, you can opt to negotiate the problem yourself or use HealthLock, which will take 33% of the dollars it saves you.

So what about Dr. Adams? He has decided to pursue direct negotiation with the Mayo Clinic and is still in the process.

Remember you do have options and should be a diligent steward of your healthcare dollars. When you receive a healthcare bill always ask for an itemized copy of your bill. If you need professional help the resources listed above are available to you to negotiate on your behalf.



You can purchase Dr. David Wilcox’s book How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival on Amazon at the following link

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According to a statement, “Healthcare is complex and that is not an accident. It is complex by the healthcare entities vying for your healthcare dollars. Covid has exacerbated the American Healthcare System, which was fragile, to begin with. Many clinicians are leaving healthcare due to burnout. How does the average layperson navigate the complexities of the American Healthcare System where a prescription could cost you $5 at one pharmacy and $500 at another? What does the average layperson do when their insurance company rejects their claim? Proactive education of the American Healthcare System prior to accessing it is the key to safely navigating the healthcare system. Until now, little information has been available to provide the layperson with the knowledge they need to be a better partner in their health care. Dr. David Wilcox’s book How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival” is a game-changer and will provide you with the skill set you need to navigate the American Healthcare System.


Dr. Wilcox is a Doctorate prepared nurse who also holds a Masters in Health Administration and is Board Certified in Nursing Informatics. Dr. Wilcox has 28 years of healthcare experience in which he worked as a bedside nurse, hospital administrator, and in healthcare information technology which has helped him to develop his unique perspective on the American Healthcare System.

Dr. Wilcox is the author of the book “How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival (2021)” available at

Dr. Wilcox currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and their three dogs.

Dr Wilcox’s website: Dr. David Wilcox – Healthcare, American Healthcare System (



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