September News and Events
The most comprehensive center for family and professional caregiving.
Dealing with Medical Bills              
           by Shelly Slaczka    

Attaining sound financial decisions for another person can be very overwhelming, particularly when it comes to health care.  Selecting the right Medicare plan for your loved one is critical during the year's annual enrollment, but many out-of-pocket costs are not covered by Medicare.  This can be a major financial burden.  There are steps that caregivers can take to help reduce these out-of- pocket expenses.  Here are tips to help you take control and lower medical bills:

Understand paperwork and check the basics:  Make sure that the bill has the correct basic information.  The medical provider will send a bill showing what should be paid and the insurance company will send an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) explaining why that amount should be paid.  EOB will state the retail rate of the service received, the contracted rate the provider agreed to accept as payment in full, and how much the insurance company will pay and how much you should pay.  Out-of-network
 providers are providers that do not have negotiated contract rate with the insurance companies.  These providers do not agree to a lower rate and can charge anything they deem appropriate.  Your insurance policy will determine what the insurance company will pay.  Preparation will help you provide the best possible care and sensibly navigate the caregiving journey.

Do not pay immediately but do not ignore bills:  Medical bills are different from other bills you receive and require closer examination.  Do not pay the bill until you have determined the amount billed is what you truly owe.  Take the time to make sure your bill is correct but do not ignore the provider's request for payment.  Let your provider know that you are working on the bill and request that they do not send the account to a collection agency.  They will often give you extra time to resolve issues.  Make sure your bills are correct before paying them, but do not let them pile up without any action.

Check that the EOB matches the bill:  Make sure that you have an EOB for a bill before making a payment.  EOB should state exactly what to expect the provider to bill you for the service.

Understand and verify the charges:  Don't pay what you don't understand.  Request an itemized bill from your provider.  Go through the itemized bill to make sure the services were indeed received.

Make sure the bill is adjusted for contracted rates and insurance payments:  If your bill does not contain line items that show an adjustment for the contracted rate of insurance payments, that means your insurance was not applied to the bill.  Instead of working the issue out with your insurance company, the provider billed you instead. If a bill does not reflect insurance payment or insurance discount, it is a sign that it may be billed incorrectly.

Be persistent and don't back down until the issue is resolved: Call the provider and your insurance company immediately to resolve the issue.  Document all your phone calls.  Write down the name of the person you spoke to, date and time.  Follow up until the issue is resolved and a revised corrected bill is received.

Ask for an interest-free payment plan or application for financial assistance:  If you have determined that the bill is correct, but cannot pay the bill all at once, ask your provider if you can arrange for an interest-free payment plan.  Once the provider has allowed you to set up interest-free monthly payments, be sure to keep up your end and make these monthly payments on-time.  Providers and hospitals often have financial assistance programs available to those who meet the income requirements.  Most programs like this will require proof of income documents.  If you qualify and are accepted, your bill can be significantly reduced.

HART conducted a breakfast bag collection to benefit Meals on Wheels August 1 - 31

Volunteers are needed to assemble the breakfast bags for Meals on Wheels September 6-9.

Assembly working time will be 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm and volunteers can come in at their leisure during this time.

For additional information about assembling the breakfast bags contact Joyce Wright at Atria
Oakridge by email or 
by phone at 919-848-2088.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this such a successful event. 

Special thanks to the following businesses and organizations for being drop off sites:

Accessible Home Health Care 
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A., Inc
Atria OakridgeHomewatch CareGivers of the Triangle
Brookdale CommunitiesSarahCare
Brighton Gardens of Raleigh Sunrise Communities
Cambridge Village of ApexTransitions LifeCare
Capitol Financial Solutions
Walker Lambe, Rhudy, Costley & Gill, PLLC

Falls River Village and Court

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh


Next meeting on September 15, 2016
9:30 am - 11:00 am
You must become a member to attend.

Meeting Location:
7615 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27615

To register, click here or contact:
Shelly Slaczka

Transitions GuidingLights
moved to a new location.

3739 National Drive, Suite 204
Raleigh, NC 27612

Come check out our new space!
Radio Show that Focuses on Caregiving Concerns
Did you know there is a radio show that can help you?

Caring Connections with your host Nicole Bruno on
97.9 WCHL.  Reaches mainly the Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham County markets.  Listen in at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays.  Or you may find the pod casts of past shows by clicking here.

If you have a caregiving question that you would love to have answered on air or if you have a topic you think we should cover please email:

Do You Know Who I Am?
7.0 CEU Dementia Training

"Do You Know Who I Am?" is an Alzheimer's Disease training program for both family and professional caregivers. It is a participatory, interactive, and innovative approach to learning how to more effectively work with individuals with dementia, especially Alzheimer's. Learn more.
Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Training Institute

The Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Training Institute now offers the DHSR approved Nursing Assistant 1 (NA1) program.  We also have scholarships available to Raleigh residents who qualify.  For more information about this robust and interactive program, please click here.

Information & Referral


Transitions GuidingLights is pleased to offer information and referrals to caregivers seeking resources for a loved one. Caregivers may drop in or call during regular business hours to receive personally tailored referrals to meet their specific care needs. Transitions GuidingLights provides referral services FREE of charge to family caregivers. Call (919) 371-2062 for help TODAY or Click Here To Contact Us


Caring Matters

Transitions GuidingLights offers CPR, AED, and First Aid training.  This is a two year American Heart Association certification. Contact us if you would like to be certified.  

Interest In CPR

Awakening Program

The Awakening Program is a comprehensive life management program designed for individuals afflicted with dementia, especially Alzheimer's and their caregivers.

Caring Matters

Caring Matters is a 14 video series designed to educate you about the various aspects of caregiving.  Click Here For Videos



Caring Connections

Caring Connections is a weekly radio show for caregivers about caregiving.  This show has entered its third year of production and can be heard locally on WCHL.  All shows are also available via podcast by clicking 

Lending Library

The Transitions GuidingLights lending library houses hundreds of books to aid caregivers in their journey as well as books that will help you to prepare to care.  For your convenience we also have a complete listing of our titles online which can be found here.

Skills Lab

Transitions GuidingLights has a skills lab available. Are you unsure of how to provide assistance with activities of daily living for a loved one? If so, contact us and we would be glad to set up an appointment with one of our nurses who will work with you to practice the skills you need to become a more confident caregiver. Contact us by clicking here.

Thank You!! Community Partners
  Outreach NC     Woodland Terrace Logo


3739 National Drive, Suite 204, Raleigh, NC 27612 919.371.2062

Transitions GuidingLights | 3739 National Drive | Suite 204 | Raleigh | NC | 27612