LV121807

Disputing Medical Bills

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If you owe it pay it.

I am not in the habit of helping some one get out of paying a bill just because they dont want to pay it. Now if there are legal reason why you do not think you owe or the amount is in dispute or the CA is collecting using illegal methods I will help in a heart beat.

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I'd actually like to know this, too, and here's my reasons for not paying (in a nutshell):

Last year, I had my gallbladder removed. Surgery was a botch job and I ended up two different ERs post-surgery. Medical bills (and physical pain) galore.

The bills I received were all very hard to understand and many came from entities I was not even aware of... places that had addresses in DE (I'm in TX), names of businesses with whom I had no known association, etc.

Also, the bills that were itemized always had extra stuff on them - padding, to get as much money out of my insurance as possible. Extra IV bags (one charged me for 12 when I really had 2), diagnostic procedures which due to billing lingo I wasn't even able to figure out, etc.

And finally, something that I actually saw a lawyer about, I received absolutely dismal care at the first ER I went to. (Abridged story: they said my pain was because I was constipated and discharged me, I was actually LEAKING BILE into my abdominal cavity which the second ER discovered). The bill from that doctor is one I don't want to pay just out of principle, but I digress...

I called the billers to see what was up but no one was willing to negotiate, or defer payment (I was unemployed and in grad school at the time). My insurance at the time was amazing and paid a BIG part of their bills. I'm talking 90%. So, you see, along with my co-pays and deductible, the medical "professionals" already got a huge, huge chunk of change out of my insurance (which I paid over $2000 for in the first place).

I'm not trying to stiff anyone money. They already got money from me and my insurance - probably more money than they deserve thanks to bill padding. They just want MORE. Also, I have read about "balance billing" - does this fall into that category?

On each of my reports, I have 5-7 collection items that I would like to get rid of. After researching a lot, my current plan is to dispute with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and then if that doesn't work, ask for debt validation from the collectors. Or if it doesn't work with the CBs first, should I just keep disputing with different reasons? I don't want to lie and say it's not mine, because technically it is, but... well, you see my moral obligations. Damn greedy doctors already got paid.

Edited by HatsForEveryone
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Nope.

Could you elaborate a bit more, please? The definition I found at about.com says it's the "practice of hospitals, clinics, doctors offices and other medical facilities billing patients for the balance between what they want to charge their patients for services and what the insurance company has already reimbursed them." How is my situation different?

Please don't take this as being snarky because that's not how I mean it at all. I'm legitimately curious and can use all the help I can get!

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