November 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 out-of-pocket costs are not covered by Medicare. This is 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. Insurance companies 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.

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 received an EOB and determined that 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.

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.

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.

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.

We have made some  big  changes for HART for 2019. We now meet on a monthly basis!

We will hold six luncheon meetings at the North Hills Club in Raleigh where we will focus our time on networking and getting to know each other across the industry. Each luncheon will feature a great speaker who will encourage you, inspire you, or help you with your business endeavors. For those who remember the way HART used to be several years ago these meetings will be in line with the format of the past! We have heard you and are bringing it back  recharged.

The other six meetings will continue with the same format that we have had over the past three years. They will continue to be breakfast meetings held at Renaissance Funeral Home and we will continue our service project format in an effort to try to support area nonprofit and government agencies and fill the gaps for seniors and caregivers in Wake County.

For more information  click here.

Next meeting on November 21, 2019
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


Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's Caregivers Summits such wonderful events!

The Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Training Institute
Now enrolling students for our NA1 Program

We offer a robust 146-hour curriculum which exceeds the basic standards of the North Carolina State DHSR model. Our curriculum is innovative, 
NA1 students who graduated October 2015.
participatory and interactive, making the experience more thorough and more enjoyable for our students.  We also offer a career fair at the end of each course giving our students an opportunity to be placed in the caregiving field with one of our vetted vendor organizations.
*Clinical rotation is held at Springmoor with additional experiential opportunity. 

Do you have an amazing employee who would make a wonderful NA1?  If the answer to that question is "yes," consider sending them through our program as an investment in your organization.

Radio Show that Focuses on 
Aging Concerns
Did you know there is a radio show that can help you?
Aging Matters  

With co-hosts Jason Kong (WTPF) and Nicole Clagett (Transitions GuidingLights).  Airs Saturday evenings from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
 on 680 WPTF. You may find the podcasts 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. 

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 training.  This is a two year American Heart Association certification. Contact us if you would like to be certified.  
Interest In CPR

ABC11's Caregivers Corner

ABC11's Caregivers Corner is a place where you can connect with fellow people giving long term care to a loved one, be it a grandparent, parent or sibling. This group is moderated by ABC11 and Nicole. Please share this page and help connect caregivers with important content that will help them in their caregiving journey!

You can meet Nicole and other caregivers on our Facebook group  here.
Caring Matters

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

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 

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




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