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Medical clinic threatening CA even though I've been paying


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I really, really tried to find an answer to this in the search category, but didnt find a situation close to mine, so here goes and I will try to make this short:

I live in Nebraska

I owe a debt to a physician's clinic and an emergency room the physician is affiliated with. I made payment arrangements with the clinic believing that their clinic and the E.R. were all one account ("Such-and-Such hospital Health System), ie; since I was making payments for the clinic visit a portion the payments I made would be applied to the E.R. as well.......it's all one health system.

I made the payments as agreed. I could only afford to send them $28.00 per month and the clinic/E.R. Rep agreed to that amount. Months later I received a notice from the E.R. billing that if I didnt start paying them they'd turn me over for collections. I called and told them I had thought my $28.00 had been going to pay them off as well as the clinic, but apparently not. I honestly can only afford a $28.00 payment, so I told them that I will pay the clinic $14.00 per month and the E.R. $14.00 per month, and have been doing so for the last 3 months - they have cashed the checks I've sent.

My husband talked to them last week and They told him that we have until the end of July to pay the accounts off entirely or they will turn both of us over for collection. I understand they can add spouses onto an account legally.

My question is, can they turn us over to a collection agency, or worse, even though I've been sending them payments and they have accepted the payments?

Many thanks for any help/advice

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"...their clinic and the E.R. were all one account..."

This was an incorrect assumption.

It's typical for doctors to 'work for' a separate Professional Association. Hospitals bill for their own charges. Usually a patient receives at least these two bills for any hospital visit, but there can be more. An example of this is Lab work. (It's customary for larger hospitals to have an in-house Lab. But smaller facilities often outsource lab work.)

"...clinic/E.R rep agreed..."

Which place agreed to your payment arrangements, the hospital or the physician's office?

"...Can they turn us over to a collection agency..."

Of course. It happens all the time.

Medical bills are due in full at the time of service. This is standard operating procedure and has been for decades. Both the physician and the hospital can turn you over to collection if the balance isn't paid in full. The fact that they have accepted your payments doesn't change that.

"...any help/advice..."

How can we help?

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try calling the drs office, and the hospital yourself, and ask to speak with someone reguarding a bill (try for a supervisor), be honest, explain your situation, and explain to them how important your credit is, and how you are truely trying to pay this debt, if they do agree to something, try to get an agreement in writing

there was another thread very similar to this recently, and this seemed to work for them (but with higher payments)


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