When it pays to hire a pro

Posted on March 6, 2012

You always want to save money where you can but there are certain tasks when hiring a pro is to your advantage.

 

Money Magazine’s Senior Writer Donna Rosato shares six surprising cases when it’s better to hire a professional rather than do it yourself with “Early Show” co-anchor Chris Wragge.

 

When to Use a Pro:

 

Caring for Aging Parents

 

Cost:

$80-200/hour

 

Finding a Pro:

Caremanager.org

 

According to Rosato, when you’re caring for your parents you just might not have the time or skills or you live far away from your folks. It’s just really hard to go through some of the things you need to do. For example, filling out Medicare and Medicaid paperwork.

A geriatric-care manager can help you find and vet a home health aide, accompany your mom and dad to medical appointments, they can help out if you need to move them to a nursing home or assisted living, and they can help with complex Medicaid or Medicare paperwork. It can take hours, and if you don’t do it right, it will take a lot longer. It’s one of those things where if you do it wrong the first time it gets kicked back over and over.

She also points out that it’s not inexpensive, they always first charge an assessment fee that can run $300-800 – for them to get a sense of the situation, how complex it is, then they will charge by the hour it ranges from $80-200/hour this depends on what part of the country you’re in and what they’re doing for you. This peace of mind is worth the cost for most people.

 

What else is there to consider? You want to go somewhere where folks have some certification; you can find that at National Association of Professional of Geriatric Care Managers — Caremanager.org. If you’re on the home page, there’s a tab at the top called Find a Care Manager, you can enter in your postal code or city and state and they will give you a listing of professionals in your area, 10-100 miles from your parents.

 

When to Use a Pro:

 

Untangling Medical Bills

 

Cost:

$85-150/hour or 35 percent of Final Bill

 

Finding a Pro:

 

 

billadvocates.com

According to Rosato, this professional is a medical billing advocate. You can spend hours on the phone trying to untangle medical error. You may not have the time or you’re just not getting anywhere. Billing advocates are trained to cut through the red tape; they know who to talk to and they have good negotiating skills.

 

The cost usually happens in one of two ways, she adds, an hourly fee of $85-150/hour or they’ll take a cut when your bills are reduced which is typically 35 percent. This can be worth it if you think it’s a relatively straight-forward problem or if it’s such a big bill because they’re not getting a cut if they don’t cut down your bill.

 

Also, you can get a free consultation up front, so they’ll let you know what your fee is and what they can do for you.

 

Billadvocates.com is Medical Billing Advocates of America, where you can find people here who are certified in medical billing. You go right to the home page and then there’s tab to find an advocate based on what you need. A recent study shows that 80 percent of hospital bills have some type of error, so in those cases it’s helpful to hire a professional to help you resolve the issue.

 

Excerpt FromĀ CBSnews.com

Read the original article here.