What Your Doctor Wants You to Know to Crush Medical Debt
Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/2022)
Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington is a doctor of internal medicine and a health insurance executive with medical billing expertise. Having been faced with overwhelming, often inaccurate medical bills during a health crisis, she realized the need to share her knowledge so that others could be educated to advocate for themselves, and avoid financial devastation. She recognizes that Americans are fed up with being taken advantage by our healthcare system.
“What Your Doctor Wants You to Know to Crush Medical Debt” is written in a friendly and concise manner. Dr. Bright Ellington explains everything well so that the average layperson will easily understand it. Definitions are provided and there is an extensive list of resources and references so that the reader can do more research. Helpful examples are given to illustrate the points.
This book educates us on how Americans are often given poor advice that benefits the profits of the healthcare system. She provides tips on what to do when faced with a health issue. She also points out how errors are commonly made, which rarely work in favor of the patient. It is disheartening to see how common the errors are, and to know that people might incur horrific debt without being aware that it is due to billing mistakes.
As I was reading, “What Your Doctor Wants You to Know to Crush Medical Debt” I asked my friends what they thought was the number one cause of bankruptcy. 100% of the responses I got was “credit card debt.” It was interesting to me that so many people didn’t consider medical debt. Although, many people might put that debt on their credit cards. Dr. Virgie explains why that isn’t a good idea.
I think it is critical for people of all ages to read this book now, before they face a medical emergency. Dr. Virgie’s tips are up to date and totally relevant to what is happening with our medical issues at this time. This includes discussion about COVID and how some people were unfairly saddled with debt. Having previously challenged some obviously inaccurate billings, I now suspect I could probably have saved more money if I had the knowledge from these pages. Surprise medical bills, like getting charged $5,000 for an experimental DNA test, were relatively obvious and easy to fix. My doctor wrote 100% of the bill off. But I wonder about the surgery bills that kept coming, over several months, after I had a thyroidectomy. I was totally unprepared and naïve to how the system worked.
Having read this book, I will definitely be prepared in the event of future medical issue. I am grateful for having been educated on this subject. I hope that it becomes a required text in Consumer Skills classes for teens and young adults.
“What Your Doctor Wants You to Know to Crush Medical Debt: A Health System Insider’s Steps to Protect Yourself from America’s #1 Cause of Bankruptcy,” is a must read for everyone in the United States regardless of age, financial status, or type of health insurance.