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As a Florida hospital malpractice lawyer, I see a lot of our client’s ER bills. It is frightening how much hospitals try to charge patients, especially the uninsured.

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Florida Statute Section 395.1041, is clear: emergency rooms have to accept a patient whether they have insurance or not. The problem is that if you do not have insurance, you are going to receive a bill that can be ten times what they may charge health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.

So the next time you find yourself in need of emergency room treatment consider the following:

1. Use your PIP insurance. If you are injured in a Florida car crash, even as a pedestrian or on a bicycle, provide the ER with your PIP insurance. No PIP, do not worry, the car that caused the accident’s PIP will pay for your medical bills (up to $10,000.00).

2. You can negotiate your ER bills. Hospitals never expect to receive the full retail amount of an ER bill, so you should not even consider offering to pay it. Negotiate the bill down and demand a payment schedule.

3. Check your bill. Its no different than going to a restaurant and finding an extra salad on your check. Make sure that the bill is accurate.

4. Consider going to an urgent care center for minor emergencies like sprains, strains or broken finger. Click here to find an urgent care center near you.

5. Move quick. You will get a better reduction on your bill before it gets referred to a collections lawyer, who will want a percentage and may ruin your credit.