Wife Saves Husband, Then Saves Thousands on Their Medical Bills

Even the smallest errors on medical bills can cost-- here's how to spot them.

ByABC News via GMA logo
January 7, 2009, 9:34 PM

Jan. 8, 2009 — -- Michelle Katz is a health-care savings expert with a master's degree in nursing, so when her husband Martin had a heart attack right in front of her, she fought to save his life. Then, she fought the errors on his medical bill and saved the couple $7,000.

Today on "Good Morning America," Katz discussed the horrifying experience and shared the lessons she learned that could save other Americans thousands of dollars.

Click here to read Michelle Katz's answers to questions she received online through "Good Morning America."

Katz was talking with her husband in June 2008 when she noticed his face turning gray.

"I looked over and I said, 'Martin, are you OK?'" she told "Good Morning America." "If I can describe death, that's kind of what I was seeing. And that's when I grabbed him. And as I grabbed his hand, it was almost like putting my hand in a vat of ice cubes. It was that cold. He started stiffening up."

Terrified, Katz immediately gave her husband CPR.

"I started pushing down on the compressions and was just screaming and saying 'Are you OK? Are you still with me?'" she said. "I just wanted him to know, even if he wasn't listening, that I was not going to let someone die in my hands. And especially not my own husband."

Later, X-rays showed that Katz had cracked her husband's ribs with the force of her compressions. After 16 long minutes, an ambulance arrived and took Martin to the emergency room.

When hospital took over, Katz, the author of two books about saving money on medical bills, started paying attention. She vowed to follow the advice she had given others in "Healthcare for Less" and "101 Health Insurance Tips."

"I knew the dollar signs were going up," Katz said. "That's when I started documenting things." In the days that followed, Katz found errors on the bills that, when corrected, saved her and her husband $7,000.