Your Paperwork Checklist

Undergoing treatment for breast cancer often comes with piles of paperwork. Use this checklist to organize your records, bills, receipts and everything in between.

  1. Use a computer program
    Creating a spreadsheet on a program like Excel is perfect (and fairly user-friendly) for organizing bills and other documents. You can customize a system to your needs, making it as basic or as detailed as you’d like.
  2. Organize with files, drawers or a 3-ring binder
    If you’re not ready to make the leap to a computer based filing system, the old-fashioned way can be just as effective. Designate a drawer for all your files or invest in a few accordion folders.
  3. Categorize your system
    Whether you choose to organize by doctor name, dates or treatment type, keeping paperwork clearly divided is important for easy reference. Try using different colored folders, separate binders or file tabs.
    *Tip: The fewer categories you have, the easier to file.
  4. Use a separate calendar
    Don’t mark appointments on the family calendar—they may get lost in the shuffle. Using your own personal calendar will ensure there is no confusion.
  5. Have a business card/phone number section
    Designate an area in your filing system for important phone numbers and business cards.
  6. Don’t put it off
    Filing paperwork as it comes in is the best way to avoid having piles to sift through later on.
  7. Have a place for when you can’t file
    Treatments can be tiring. If you don’t have the energy to go through paperwork immediately, simply leave documents in a basket or bin marked “to file” and get around to it as soon as you’re feeling better so it doesn't become daunting.
  8. Designate a bill-paying day
    Choose one day each month to pay balances and to make sure everything has been taken care of.
  9. Keep track of phone calls
    You will speak with many healthcare professionals over the course of your diagnosis and treatment. Keeping track of whom you spoke with and when can be useful should you run into any confusion.
  10. Keep insurance carriers separate
    If you’re using more than one insurance carrier, it’s best to their keep paperwork separate or devise a system for differentiating.  For instance, use a yellow highlighter for Insurance A, and a pink one for Insurance B.
  11. Make copies
    In case anything gets misplaced, you know you have backup. This includes copies of checks and credit card receipts for co-pays and other healthcare costs.

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