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dwright19

Medical Bill now in the hands of a CA!

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I am posting for a co-worker.

 

She was in the hospital for kidney infection while pregenant. The bill was $28,000 and insurance only covered 90%. She tried to work it out with the Hospital but they got rid of the Debt and now PISA is sending her the bill.

 

They called her and told her that they were collecting the debt and she needed to pay it off immediatly. They also informed her that she could just use her Credit card that has $XXXXX creidt available on it. She told them no and has sent off at least 2 $100 checks to them.

 

I informed her to stop what she was doing and I would get her some help on this.

 

My main question is did they pull her Credit illegally to gain the info on her credit card and its limit? She is going to be pulling her reports in the beggining of June to see what they are reporting. I told her to see if there was an Inquiry from this CA.

 

I have also directed her to this site and am trying to give her a hand on getting this sorted out.

 

What would yall sugest she do in the terms of letters being sent off?

 

Thanks,

 

Dwright19

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She should pull her reports right now.  I recommend getting the paper copies mailed by USPS, using the written form from annualcreditreport.com, or by calling the number on that site.  DO NOT use other sites for this.  There are reported cases of accessing a CR by computer not having all the info on it.

 

If they own the debt account, now, pulling the credit report was probably legal.

 

Welcome to the American health care system.

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First off, the OP needs to get together an accounting of what they already paid. The amount of the bill is only $2800 minus what they already paid. I figure the balance to be between $2000 and $2500.

Second, it is legal for them to look at your credit report and as a matter of fact, every time they call and the call is answered, the credit report of the debtor does come up specifically for the purposes of seeing if there are open accounts for the collector to "persuade" you to pay the bill with. That does not mean that you are required to use that credit account to pay the bill.

Now, I am going to guess that the DV period is over if she has sent some checks. At this point, I would not pay another dime to the collector and instead would start to bank the money. Once she has $1000 set aside, then talk to the collector about settlement. If they refuse, keep banking the money until you get to about $1500 and go no higher. They might try to play hardball because of the open accounts but you can lie to a collector too and say you just closed that account and the report has not updated yet. You will eventually settle.

This is what the OP should have done with the hospital however.

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I agree.  The best way to pay a debt collector, if you are going to pay them at all, is to pay all at once.  As long as you are paying them, they have no incentive to bargain with a discount or lower settlement.  Even if they are hard nosed and hold the amount at the 100% figure plus interest, once you can pay them all at once, then it's all over.  If their demand goes up faster than you can save up, then it is clearly impossible to reach a settlement, but at least YOU have the money that would otherwise have been paid to them and you still not have a settlement.  If you have to do bankruptcy, at least there's a cash wad to do it with.

 

"Would you like for me to pay this debt all at once?"

 

"Yes, how will you be making this payment?"

 

"Great.  I'm glad you are willing to accept my payment terms.  The payment will be by cashier's check once I've saved up that much money.  Have a nice day."

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i WOULD FIRST MAKE THEM PROVE THAT THEY ACTUALLY OWN THE DEBT,,,,,why would you pay someone just because they say you owe them.

 

Who cares if they sue,,,these collection agencies are so easy to beat in court in aint funny.

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i WOULD FIRST MAKE THEM PROVE THAT THEY ACTUALLY OWN THE DEBT

Good point.  

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First off, the OP needs to get together an accounting of what they already paid. The amount of the bill is only $2800 minus what they already paid. I figure the balance to be between $2000 and $2500.

Second, it is legal for them to look at your credit report and as a matter of fact, every time they call and the call is answered, the credit report of the debtor does come up specifically for the purposes of seeing if there are open accounts for the collector to "persuade" you to pay the bill with. That does not mean that you are required to use that credit account to pay the bill.

Now, I am going to guess that the DV period is over if she has sent some checks. At this point, I would not pay another dime to the collector and instead would start to bank the money. Once she has $1000 set aside, then talk to the collector about settlement. If they refuse, keep banking the money until you get to about $1500 and go no higher. They might try to play hardball because of the open accounts but you can lie to a collector too and say you just closed that account and the report has not updated yet. You will eventually settle.

This is what the OP should have done with the hospital however.

 

While this works with credit card and other debt it will NOT work with medical debt.  Typically medical debt is NOT sold off like CC debt it is assigned to a CA which is actually an in-house arm of the medical provider.  

 

Since insurance has already paid 90% the patient/insured is legally obligated to pay their portion. The hospital and providers can NOT discount that amount or they are violating the law and terms of the insurance contract with the insurer.  It is illegal rebating to do so.  

 

After a few years it is possible for the debt to be sold but it doesn't happen with large hospitals mostly individual small private practices.  

 

Pulling her credit isn't illegal and asking her to use a CC is sleazy but no illegal either.  

 

Welcome to the American health care system.

 

Seriously?  You are going to make that statement?  Insurance paid 90% of a $28000 bill and you are complaining.  Most people don't have policies that are that good.  Given some of the bills I have had along with the crappy policies that left me with a lot of debt I would have been thankful to only have to pay 10%.

 

You are typical of a lot of patients (and why many providers are quitting) who want medical care but don't think they should have to pay for it.  The same patients who go to the doctor or hospital and state they have no money but want services anyway would NEVER go to their local grocer and get to the check out with $300 worth of food and state "I don't have money now but will pay you later."  

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While this works with credit card and other debt it will NOT work with medical debt.  Typically medical debt is NOT sold off like CC debt it is assigned to a CA which is actually an in-house arm of the medical provider.  

 

Since insurance has already paid 90% the patient/insured is legally obligated to pay their portion. The hospital and providers can NOT discount that amount or they are violating the law and terms of the insurance contract with the insurer.  It is illegal rebating to do so.  

 

After a few years it is possible for the debt to be sold but it doesn't happen with large hospitals mostly individual small private practices.  

 

Pulling her credit isn't illegal and asking her to use a CC is sleazy but no illegal either.  

 

 

Seriously?  You are going to make that statement?  Insurance paid 90% of a $28000 bill and you are complaining.  Most people don't have policies that are that good.  Given some of the bills I have had along with the crappy policies that left me with a lot of debt I would have been thankful to only have to pay 10%.

 

You are typical of a lot of patients (and why many providers are quitting) who want medical care but don't think they should have to pay for it.  The same patients who go to the doctor or hospital and state they have no money but want services anyway would NEVER go to their local grocer and get to the check out with $300 worth of food and state "I don't have money now but will pay you later."  

This depends on what insurance the op has, if its medicaid or medicare they cannot bill the patient for the balance.

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This depends on what insurance the op has, if its medicaid or medicare they cannot bill the patient for the balance.

 

True but Medicaid and Medicare don't pay anywhere close to 90% of ANYTHING.

 

 I have been in healthcare for 27 years and recognize that any plan that paid that much is private insurance.  I had a plan like that ONCE and it was great.  They are almost non-existent now and after January 1. 2014 will likely go the way of the dinosaur.  

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While this works with credit card and other debt it will NOT work with medical debt.  Typically medical debt is NOT sold off like CC debt it is assigned to a CA which is actually an in-house arm of the medical provider.  

Not always.  For instance, it's amazingly easy to do a pay for delete with medical collections debt. 

 

After a few years it is possible for the debt to be sold but it doesn't happen with large hospitals mostly individual small private practices.  

My debt was from a hospital and it was sold.  

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Not always.  For instance, it's amazingly easy to do a pay for delete with medical collections debt. 

 

My debt was from a hospital and it was sold.  

 

 

Pay for delete isn't the problem.  It is offering less than the amount owed.  An insured is contractually obligated to pay their responsible portion and any rebating of that amount is illegal.  Medical collectors generally could care less if it continues to report and once paid they don't want HIPAA allegations either so the deletion is fairly easy for satisfied debt.  

 

Sometimes hospitals do sell really old debt but it generally takes a couple of years without payment or on really small debt.  Uninsured patients debt also gets sold fairly easily.  Patients with good insurance like the OP:  not likely.

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Sometimes hospitals do sell really old debt but it generally takes a couple of years without payment or on really small debt.  Uninsured patients debt also gets sold fairly easily.  Patients with good insurance like the OP:  not likely.

Mine was within 5 months the hospital sold.  

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@usctrojanalum

 

Thinking that hospital is about to file bankruptcy.  Selling a receivable after 5 months probably means hospital is in serious trouble.

 

I don't think so.  It's one of the premiere hospitals in this area and brand spanking new building.  

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For what it is worth, I was advised that most hospitals have what are called "Charity Funds".  These are funds to help some patients with paying for costs they cannot cover for whatever reason. I was able to have this done and have my debt erased from my credit report. It was already turned over to a CA. I found the hospital, completed a financial affidavit sent it in to the patient financial services division of the hopsital. In two weeks, "medicredit" was erased from my credit report.  All DIFFERENT visits totaled around 6,000 dollars.

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You live in Texas, as long as you quote the TFC-392 codes in your dispute letter, you can dispute any time. Though, the sooner the better. Also, make sure that you quote TFC-392 in most of your communications, it has more teeth than the FDCA or any other law. You might also go to this website  http://whychat.5u.com/index.html  I have heard of people having great success using his methods on the HIPPA medical solutions. Read it all and get to know the regulations. Google TFC-392. You can also go to my Texas thread in resources for more help.

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Seriously?  You are going to make that statement?  Insurance paid 90% of a $28000 bill and you are complaining.  Most people don't have policies that are that good.  Given some of the bills I have had along with the crappy policies that left me with a lot of debt I would have been thankful to only have to pay 10%.

 

You are typical of a lot of patients (and why many providers are quitting) who want medical care but don't think they should have to pay for it.  The same patients who go to the doctor or hospital and state they have no money but want services anyway would NEVER go to their local grocer and get to the check out with $300 worth of food and state "I don't have money now but will pay you later."  

 

I missed this response from a while back, but I see it now.  I'll stand by my statement "Welcome to the American health care system" because it is mostly unique to the USA.  More detailed explanation gets political so I'm not going into that here on this forum unless there is a thread for it.  But if you want to counter what my statement says, show me another major country or two that does things as bad as the USA.

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For what it is worth, I was advised that most hospitals have what are called "Charity Funds".  These are funds to help some patients with paying for costs they cannot cover for whatever reason. I was able to have this done and have my debt erased from my credit report. It was already turned over to a CA. I found the hospital, completed a financial affidavit sent it in to the patient financial services division of the hopsital. In two weeks, "medicredit" was erased from my credit report.  All DIFFERENT visits totaled around 6,000 dollars.

@LegacyStarCEO - very interesting.  I will be following this up with a blog post shortly.  

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For what it is worth, I was advised that most hospitals have what are called "Charity Funds".  These are funds to help some patients with paying for costs they cannot cover for whatever reason. I was able to have this done and have my debt erased from my credit report. It was already turned over to a CA. I found the hospital, completed a financial affidavit sent it in to the patient financial services division of the hopsital. In two weeks, "medicredit" was erased from my credit report.  All DIFFERENT visits totaled around 6,000 dollars.

 

No patient with insurance that covered 90% of a hospital bill is going to be eligible for charity care.  Patients who qualify for charity care have no insurance and income at or below the poverty level.  

 

ANY patient who has no insurance and/or makes little to no money should apply for charity care from the hospital if they find themselves in need of service.  The mistake that patients often make is assuming that because they have no insurance or money that it is automatically paid that way and it is not.  You must apply like any other charity program.  

 

The second mistake patients make with regards to charity care is assuming that because they applied that means the care will be paid in full.  That also is not the case.  Once the application is made there are several possible outcomes.  (1) is the patient qualifies and has a high enough bill and low enough income that care is covered in full (2) is that they are low enough income but care is covered partially and they are expected to pay a portion of the bill, (3) they are low income but not enough for full/partial charity but do qualify for a reduction in the cost of care, (4) they do not qualify and charity is denied due to their specific financial circumstances, and last (5) the fund for charity care has been used for the fiscal year and there is no more money for assistance and the patient cannot be covered even if they would have qualified.  

 

While every hospital I have ever worked for has had a charity care fund it is not the bottomless pit that many assume it to be.  Once the fund is exhausted they can no longer offer that option.  I have seen many an angry patient who was approved early in the year and got free care return later in the year and get a bill.  They are very angry and demand to know why the hospital just won't pay it.  If the money isn't in their charity fund they can't pay bills for patients anymore than a consumer can pay a collection agency or creditor with an empty checking account.

 

There is NO easy solution to the health care problem but one of the biggest problems it faces is the public perception that they should not have to pay for care at all and it should be free from the government.  Health care is and always has been a private business in the USA.  The founding fathers did not see that as an inalienable right and therefore it was not drafted into the Constitution or Bill of Rights.  Providers have to bill for services in order to be able to provide them.  The assumption they should just provide the care is what will drive many of them out of business as the new health care reform takes affect.  Care is actually going to be LESS available not more.

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Keep in mind that even 5% of medical costs in some cases can bankrupt people making 6 figure incomes, even when they manage to actually keep their jobs through it.  If we are going to run the country on the insurance model, we need to do it at 100%.  While insurance is reducing the number of people that medical care bankrupts, it does not eliminate it.

 

FYI, we did not have these high medical costs when our country was founded.  I would not be blaming the founders for giving us a system like this.

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Keep in mind that even 5% of medical costs in some cases can bankrupt people making 6 figure incomes, even when they manage to actually keep their jobs through it.  If we are going to run the country on the insurance model, we need to do it at 100%.  While insurance is reducing the number of people that medical care bankrupts, it does not eliminate it.

 

There is no doubt that 5% of a six figure medical bill can be as devastating as 100% of a $200 medical bill depending on your financial situation.

 

That is not the issue.  Neither is insurance.  You are missing the point:  you can mandate that every person buy insurance.  What you can NOT mandate is that providers take care of them.  So far most of the major carriers have opted NOT to participate in the government exchanges and in the few states that have already set theirs up several MAJOR medical facilities have already said they will not be a participating provider for the exchanges.  

 

What will happen next is all those people insured through the exchanges (or as I call it advanced Medicaid) will find few if any providers accepting that "insurance" and will be forced to either travel great distances to find a provider or pay out of pocket to see a provider.  The new law will do little to stem the cost of health care.

 

 

FYI, we did not have these high medical costs when our country was founded.  I would not be blaming the founders for giving us a system like this.

 

I disagree.  There have been doctors since the time of Hippocrates.  What there hasn't been is health insurance.  When this country was founded if you could not afford to pay the doctor or work out a barter for services then you didn't see one.  Do you know how many people died because they could not afford $3 for a doctor visit?  Most patients.  That is how many.  If you needed surgery you had to pay UP FRONT or you didn't get it.  

 

People have been going into debt for medical care since it started.  Even though there was no insurance and most people could not afford medical care the founding fathers still did not see it as a RIGHT that needed to be protected.  

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