Article is from Geoff Williams, U.S. News & World Report

5 Hidden Costs of Hospital Visits

Check your bill for these errors and irksome fees…

Everyone knows hospital billing is out of control, but the bills often produce sticker shock because of hidden costs, charges patients have no idea are coming. Of course, rarely does someone know exactly how much an operation or hospital stay will cost at the outset. But even in the most predictable of situations, hospital costs vary greatly, and mistakes occur often. How often? According to Medical Billing Advocates of America, a national association that reviews medical bills for consumers, 80 percent of hospital bills contain errors.

In 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a series of articles examining medical billing and found that at a typical hospital, as many as 289 people put information in your chart that will determine the final price on your bill, assuming you are having surgery and staying in the hospital for four days. That includes intake workers (who take your information), physicians, nurses, billing coders and “many others along the way,” as the Plain Dealer noted.

Still, if you’re aiming to manage your hospital-related costs before a procedure or you want to undo some of the financial damage after the bill comes, here’s what you should look for.

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