Monday, April 7, 2014

Keeping Medical Information Organized

Recently I have discovered the importance of having all your medical information organized and accessible. Especially if you or a family member have ongoing health issues it is vital to keep all the insurance forms, bills, receipts, medical records, etc organized. But, that can be a daunting process. Here are a few tips that have helped me. If anyone else has ideas please share them with us!!

  1. There are several computer programs available that can assist but I don’t see a need to pay for one. Create an simple Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of appointments, cost, what percentage and when the insurance paid and when you mailed your payment.

  2. I keep all the receipts and invoices from my multiple doctors in an accordion file, with a slot for each physician. I keep the EOB (explanation of benefits) received from the insurance company in a separate folder. I do this because the EOB’s often have more than one claim on them so there is no point in filing them with a specific bill and then trying to remember which one you filed it with. I do write a number on the top of the EOB and write that corresponding number on each bill it addresses to make it easier if I need to go back and see what has been paid.

  3. Ask your doctor for a copy of his notes on you at each visit. I have yet to have a doctor not comply with this request. That way I have a three ring binder that I can take with me to all my appointments with various specialists and instead of having to rely on the doctors offices to fax records, etc I have them with me at all times. It is also helpful to know what your doctor is writing because it can often be different than the words he speaks to you in his exam room!

  4. Educate yourself! Know your medications and the side effects. If you don’t understand the terminology your doctor is using ask for a definition or look it up. You are responsible for your health and the health of your family so rely on your intuition and your intelligence as well as that of the medical profession.

  5. Keep a binder of the side effect sheets from the pharmacy (just one of each medicine you take). This is especially important if you are on multiple medications. That way if you feel funny or you have some type of allergic reaction you or whomever is with you at the time has access to all the medications you take and the possible side effects. This could save a life!

  6. Look over your insurance forms before you file them. I have often found mistakes on the bills from various providers. If you call about them they will (and are required to) fix the problem. If you are not sure of the claims process or the appeals process with your insurance company get out your policy and read it- word for word!! If you still don’t understand it- find an insurance agent that can explain the lingo to you. Make yourself an informed consumer- that is the best way to protect yourself and your health.
Do you have any tips for keeping medical information organized? Feel free to share in the comments.

Happy Organizing!


Posted by Melissa of Multitasking Mama

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