mopman64

2 of the same on wifes CR

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I will try to explain this the best I can.

 

In 2009, my wife fell ill at her job and our local township ambulance was called to transport her to the hospital.  Our local ambulance is allowed to bill, so they did.  We both lost our jobs soon after and this bill was the least of our worries.  So the ambulance co sent us to collections for $600.

 

I pulled both our credit reports a few months ago and seen on my wife's CR that the CA has two TL on he CR. 

 

Here is what the first TL reads:

 

Unknown collection. 

Medical.

Amount 600

Unpaid.

Open

Neg Acct.

As of Oct 26, 2012

Owner: Individual

Open Date: March 22 2010

Acct in Dispute: NO 

 

Here is what the second one reads:

 

Unknown collection.

Medical.

Amount 600

Unpaid.

Open

Neg Acct.

As of July 15, 2014

Owner: Joint

Open Date March 22, 2010

Acct in Dispute: NO

 

Now here is the funny part.  Before there was info on the CA on the TL.  Their name, phone number and location.   Now it's gone.  Also, before I called them to compline about this it was not on my CR now it is and I don't know why as it is not a joint acct.  

 

So they are dinning my wife's CR twice for the same acct and now it's on mine as well.

 

What can I do?

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Now here is the funny part.  Before there was info on the CA on the TL.  Their name, phone number and location.   Now it's gone.  Also, before I called them to compline about this it was not on my CR now it is and I don't know why as it is not a joint acct.  

 

When it comes to medical debt it is not a HIPAA violation to report it as a trade line however many bureaus and creditors now report it as a medical collection to remove the name of the creditor if it would reveal health information merely by the name of the creditor.  For example Harper Valley Breast Center.  If you were to dispute they would reveal the information to you.  

 

So they are dinning my wife's CR twice for the same acct and now it's on mine as well.

 

They can.  The original creditor (ambulance company) is allowed to report this delinquency and so is the collection agency they hire to collect it.  As long as both trade lines are accurate (and it appears they are) then it is not a violation.

 

The reason it is probably on yours is two fold.  While NJ is not a community property state, all states have some sort of law on the books that presumes that spouses will be responsible for marital debt especially medical care.  The second reason is if you were a financial guarantor or your insurance was billed.  As the policy holder you are still responsible for the bill even if you did not directly receive the care.  Therefore you are responsible financially and they can report it on your CR.

 

What can I do?

 

You can try doing a pay for delete with the ambulance company.  They are not required to do this though.  Best case scenario is they agree and do it.  Worst case scenario is they have a contingency contract with the CA that requires they turn over any payment to the CA and not to agree to PFD where it ends up being a paid collection.  

 

Based on what you posted there are no violations and if you dispute they are likely to validate so your only other option would be to wait out the 7 year reporting period until it falls off.

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This is underhanded, but this is how you can work the situation to your benefit....

 

In your name, demand all documentation on file at the collection agency and original creditor with line item billing, to prove how they came up with the "amount owed".  When they mail it to you in your name, and that documentation has any HIPAA info, literally anything, they just gave you 10K in leverage :-)

 

I actually used this when an evil collection agency tried to ruin both mine and my wife's credit report at the same time.  HIPAA laws even apply to spouse's.

 

Once you get the letter addressed to you with your wife's medical info, have HER write the sending party (send CRM) and threaten to take them to small claims court for HIPAA violations for sharing her personal medical info with you (her husband) without her express written consent (unless they agree to write off the line item and remove it from her credit report).    It is a slam dunk in court.  I am an RN and know all the shady ins and outs of HIPAA.

 

Some would consider this blackmail... but they have to follow HIPAA law...

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This is underhanded, but this is how you can work the situation to your benefit....

 

In your name, demand all documentation on file at the collection agency and original creditor with line item billing, to prove how they came up with the "amount owed".  When they mail it to you in your name, and that documentation has any HIPAA info, literally anything, they just gave you 10K in leverage :-)

 

I actually used this when an evil collection agency tried to ruin both mine and my wife's credit report at the same time.  HIPAA laws even apply to spouse's.

 

There is NO private right of action under HIPAA.  While Texas may have some state laws that give added leverage to its residents, there is NO statute under HIPAA that gives consumers in general ANY financial leverage. 

 

It also is NOT a slam dunk violation if they send proof of the debt.  As long as the collection agency has a current business agreement with the ambulance company it is NOT a HIPAA violation to communicate with the debtor regarding the bill.  

 

I am an RN and know all the shady ins and outs of HIPAA.

 

Some would consider this blackmail... but they have to follow HIPAA law...

 

There are NO shady ins and outs of HIPAA but there are medical personnel such as yourself that are shady and exploit vulnerable providers and collection agencies who are afraid of a complaint to the DHS regarding a HIPAA violation.  That you are a nurse and brag about it is disgusting.  

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There are lots of ins and outs of hipaa, and any medical info released, especially a line item bill, to anyone other than the patient, is a hipaa violation, even the spouse.

The fact that debt collection companies break federal law to destroy credit profiles and extort money is disgusting friend, not me being a nurse.

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There are lots of ins and outs of hipaa, and any medical info released, especially a line item bill, to anyone other than the patient, is a hipaa violation, even the spouse.

 

 

No it isn't an automatic violation and you should know that.  That you don't and are allegedly an RN is frightening.

 

The fact that debt collection companies break federal law to destroy credit profiles and extort money is disgusting friend, not me being a nurse.

 

It isn't a HIPAA violation to use a collection agency or to report medical debt.  In addition to the link @willingtocope provided you should read this and the links to the DHS site are provided as well:

 

http://www.hhs.gov/o...osures/268.html

 

Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prevent health plans and providers from using debt collection agencies? Does the Privacy Rule conflict with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

 

Answer:

The Privacy Rule permits covered entities to continue to use the services of debt collection agencies. Debt collection is recognized as a payment activity within the “payment” definition. See the definition of “payment” at45 CFR 164.501. Through a business associate arrangement, the covered entity may engage a debt collection agency to perform this function on its behalf. Disclosures to collection agencies are governed by other provisions of the Privacy Rule, such as the business associate and minimum necessary requirements.

The Department is not aware of any conflict between the Privacy Rule and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Where a use or disclosure of protected health information is necessary for the covered entity to fulfill a legal duty, the Privacy Rule would permit such use or disclosure as required by law.

 

http://www.hhs.gov/o...nesses/267.html

 

Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prevent reporting to consumer credit reporting agencies or otherwise create any conflict with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

Answer:

 

No. The Privacy Rule’s definition of “payment” includes disclosures to consumer reporting agencies. These disclosures, however, are limited to the following protected health information about the individual: name and address; date of birth; social security number; payment history; and account number. In addition, disclosure of the name and address of the health care provider or health plan making the report is allowed. The covered entity may perform this payment activity directly, or may carry out this function through a third party, such as a collection agency, under a business associate arrangement.

The Privacy Rule permits uses and disclosures by the covered entity or its business associate as may be required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) or other law. Therefore, the Department does not believe there is a conflict between the Privacy Rule and legal duties imposed on data furnishers by FCRA.

 

Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule permit a covered entity or its collection agency to communicate with parties other than the patient (e.g., spouses or guardians) regarding payment of a bill?

 

Answer:

 

Yes. The Privacy Rule permits a covered entity, or a business associate acting on behalf of a covered entity (e.g., acollection agency), to disclose protected health information as necessary to obtain payment for health care, and does not limit to whom such a disclosure may be made.Therefore, a covered entity, or its business associate, may contact persons other than the individual as necessary to obtain payment for health care services. See 45 CFR 164.506© and the definition of “payment” at 45 CFR 164.501. However, the Privacy Rule requires a covered entity, or its business associate, to reasonably limit the amount of information disclosed for such purposes to the minimum necessary, as well as to abide by any reasonable requests for confidential communications and any agreed-to restrictions on the use or disclosure of protected health information. See 45 CFR 164.502( , 164.514(d), and 164.522.

 

I'm guessing you work in collections or finance; I help sick kids for a living. Have a nice life.

 

You WISH I was in collections so that you can continue to delude yourself that you are right.  I have 30+ years in the medical field as a technologist.  That you are proud you stiffed medical providers for the care they gave you is disgusting and working with sick kids doesn't cancel out the refusal to pay for your own care or make you a hero.

 

I have a wonderful life but then again I sleep well because I pay the providers who take care of me instead of complaining about them reporting bad debt I ran up.

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@GenXwire

 

I don't believe @Clydesmom is disgusted at the fact that you're a nurse.  She may be disgusted at the fact that you are nurse recommending, as you described,  "underhanded" tactics.

 

As that poster said, there is no private right of action under HIPAA.

 

In addition, it is not the policy of this site to recommend "underhanded" tactics which might possibly subject this site to some sort of liability.  Please take note.

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