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Atrosity

First Time Pro Se, can't find needed information

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Hi guys,  first time here. I live in a small town in Washington and my resources here seem to be very limited.

 

I've never been sued before but I received a summons yesterday for 3 different medical bills rolled into one, totally 298 dollars (can they even do that?).  I called the collection agency (Armada), scared to death, and was ready to pay the 427 dollar bill that it had increased to.  However the woman told me, since it was now filed with the court I also had to pay attornies fees and so forth, now totally 841 dollars (i'm pretty sure it doesn't cost $400 to file a complaint). I know it may not sound like much, but I feel like I'm being bullied and robbed here.  I've read that 85-95% of these cases end in default judgment becasue the defendants never reply to the summons. So I decided to stand up for myself.  I've googled all of my questions and can't find anything for WA State law.  A few questions I have are:

 

1.  I wanted to do a general denial in the answer to force them to provide proof of services and that they legitmatley have claim to the debts, should I also file a sworn denial at this time?

 

2.  Do they need to provide a copy of the actual evidence, like my signature on the intake form, what services were rendered, and so forth? (was that stuff supposed to be with the summons?)

 

3.  When do I file motions? Before or after the answer? (what motions would I file, discovery?)

 

4.  If this goes on, does it cost them more money or will I eventually have to pay even more attornies fees if I lose?

 

5.  If this does go to trial and they do have the documents I requested, what then? Go through with it anyway and hope that the judge may reduce the total amount owed?

 

6. Is there anything I should do before hand (even if its a longshot) to make sure its still on the table after my answer (e.g. motion to dismiss, affirmative defenses, counterclaims etc.)

 

I'm really just hoping that they find all this not worth their time, and maybe even settle for something much less. Is that realistic or wishful thinking?

 

Thank you guys so much.

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Hi guys,  first time here. I live in a small town in Washington and my resources here seem to be very limited.

 

I've never been sued before but I received a summons yesterday for 3 different medical bills rolled into one, totally 298 dollars (can they even do that?).  I called the collection agency (Armada), scared to death, and was ready to pay the 427 dollar bill that it had increased to.  However the woman told me, since it was now filed with the court I also had to pay attornies fees and so forth, now totally 841 dollars (i'm pretty sure it doesn't cost $400 to file a complaint). I know it may not sound like much, but I feel like I'm being bullied and robbed here.  I've read that 85-95% of these cases end in default judgment becasue the defendants never reply to the summons. So I decided to stand up for myself.  I've googled all of my questions and can't find anything for WA State law.  A few questions I have are:

 

1.  I wanted to do a general denial in the answer to force them to provide proof of services and that they legitmatley have claim to the debts, should I also file a sworn denial at this time?

 

2.  Do they need to provide a copy of the actual evidence, like my signature on the intake form, what services were rendered, and so forth? (was that stuff supposed to be with the summons?)

 

3.  When do I file motions? Before or after the answer? (what motions would I file, discovery?)

 

4.  If this goes on, does it cost them more money or will I eventually have to pay even more attornies fees if I lose?

 

5.  If this does go to trial and they do have the documents I requested, what then? Go through with it anyway and hope that the judge may reduce the total amount owed?

 

6. Is there anything I should do before hand (even if its a longshot) to make sure its still on the table after my answer (e.g. motion to dismiss, affirmative defenses, counterclaims etc.)

 

1.  You can.  Make sure the sworn denial is done the way the court does it or they will toss it.  Keep in mind that this is NOT credit card debt and you cannot defend a medical debt case the same way.  It is VERY easy to prove medical debt unlike a credit card debt that has been sold multiple times.

 

2.  It does not necessarily have to be with the summons but all they need at trial to prevail is your signature on the financial guarantee form along with the billing statement of services rendered on those dates.  They can also subpoena your medical records for the case and it is NOT a HIPAA violation as court proceedings are exempt from that.

 

3.  You file your answer first and then start discovery.

 

4.  Yes, if this goes on for much longer than anticipated or becomes costly you could end up owing more.

 

5.  If they have all the documents then they get a judgment if the court is satisfied with their evidence.  The judge cannot reduce the amount they sued for.  If the attorney fees were excessive that might be reduced but it appears based on the amount that they are doing this case for a flat fee so it is unlikely that the court would reduce the amount of the judgment if you lose.

 

6.  You should not file motions just to file them.  If you do not have counter claims you cannot file for something that does not exist.  You need a legal basis for a motion to dismiss you can't just file one.  Affirmative defenses should be stated in your denial if you have them.

 

I'm really just hoping that they find all this not worth their time, and maybe even settle for something much less. Is that realistic or wishful thinking?

 

It is already worth their time as they have filed the suit and served you.  Now all they need is the judgment.  Once a suit is filed in medical debt cases they typically only settle for the full amount owed.  The other problem is that if you used insurance and these 3 bills are your out of pocket expense they legally cannot reduce what you owe because it is illegal rebating.  The ONLY part you might get reduced is their attorney fees by challenging an amount and asking for a copy of the billing statement for the hours charged on the case to date.

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@Atrosity

 

If you are a low income person and you went to an ER and were not screened for Washington's CharityCare, you may be able to fend off that lawsuit.  This is from a WA consumer lawyer

 

 

http://seattledebtlawyer.com/medical-debt-charity-care

seems to me if you fill one form out and send it to the hospital, they have to stop the lawsuit. This might make a good affirmative defense.

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seems to me if you fill one form out and send it to the hospital, they have to stop the lawsuit. This might make a good affirmative defense.

 

MAYBE.  If the patient had insurance then charity care does not apply.  The patient must be uninsured at the time of care or indigent.  It is NOT automatic and cannot be done if they were insured.  This also applies ONLY to hospitals.  If these bills are from a private provider's office or facility then the law on charity care does not apply.

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MAYBE.  If the patient had insurance then charity care does not apply.  The patient must be uninsured at the time of care or indigent.  It is NOT automatic and cannot be done if they were insured.  This also applies ONLY to hospitals.  If these bills are from a private provider's office or facility then the law on charity care does not apply.

True, but until it is sorted out, it will delay proceedings and allow the OP to get their feet under them. The key words being DELAY PROCEEDINGS. I think because this wasn't covered by insurance in the first place that charity care would be applicable. Also it is a common practice of hospitals to violate the terms of accepting health plans mandatory pricing for services which makes these bills happen.

 

One can have health care and still be indigent.

 

As a stop gap measure I say why not do it? As @calawyer likes to say, a belt and suspenders approach if you will.

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I think because this wasn't covered by insurance in the first place that charity care would be applicable. 

 

One can have health care and still be indigent.

 

There is NOTHING that says whether the OP has insurance or not.  It doesn't even say what kind of provider provided the care.  How did you come to the conclusion that there was no insurance AND that the OP qualifies for charity care as well?

 

In my 30 years of experience in health care that low balance tells me it is one of three issues:

 

1)  this is the out of pocket portion after insurance DID pay and charity care cannot be applied as it is illegal rebating even if the patient is low income or indigent.  it is ILLEGAL to do so.

 

2)  It is not a hospital but a private provider such as a physician or lab in which case charity care does NOT apply at all.  

 

3)  Charity care has already been applied and this is the amount the patient is expected to pay after they have been given all charity discounts.  Charity care does not automatically mean FREE.

 

Also it is a common practice of hospitals to violate the terms of accepting health plans mandatory pricing for services which makes these bills happen.

 

It most certainly is NOT a common practice and unless you can present some verifiable evidence of that it is merely your personal bias and a grossly inaccurate statement.  Most often if the plan pricing is not given it is because the facility was not even made aware the patient had insurance at the time of care.  Once they are given policy information the claim is submitted and all pricing in effect.

 

As a stop gap measure I say why not do it?

 

I will give you one very important reason:  while it MAY delay the proceedings it is clear that a JDB has the account.  In order for charity care to apply the OP would have to admit the debt was theirs and if they already got that discount or it does not apply now the JDB has the admission it needs via paperwork the OP filled out to get a summary judgment.  

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Thank you guys so much!  I can't tell you how much I appriciate your help with this.  I would never have found this stuff on my own. 

 

After reading up on WA Sate Charity Care, I believe I would have qualified.  At the time of these bills, I had no insurance and I was either unemployed, or very low income.  I do not have the dates, but I do know I was never offered or informed about Charity Care, this is the first I've ever heard of it.  From what I can garner from the readings, the services covered by Charity Care would include anything the hospital did for me, such as blood work??? (its not just ER stuff right?)  If I remember correctly, my blood was taken at a clinic and sent to the hospital for processing.  However, part of what I'm being sued for is a $70 dentist bill, which was left over after insurance.  Should I assume that if even part of the lawsuit is flawed the whole thing is? (for such a small bill, this all seems very punitive)

 

I'm thinking I should call or write the hospital and apply for Charity Care, and send the online template letter to the attorney AND put this down as an affirmative defense on my ANSWER. 

 

Anything else before I proceed??

 

Thank you again!

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@Atrosity

 

I would not proceed on your own.   This is something you need to discuss with a WA consumer lawyer.  I don't know all the details of your case. If you met the criteria for CharityCare and were not screened for it by the hospital, you may have a case. Violating the Charity Care law may be a violation of the WA Consumer Protect Act, which would mean if you won your case, the hospital would pay your attorney's fee. An office visit with a dentist would not be covered.  Dental work done by a dentist in the ER, however may be.  Contact that lawyer in my link or find one at www.naca.net

 

Or contact Wa Legal Aid

 

 

http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/

 

or a link Seadragon gave

 

 

http://nohla.org/infoAnalysis/charity.php

 

 

Apparently there have been lawsuits against WA hospitals for violating the law

 

http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/legal-regulatory-issues/lawsuit-accuses-hma-hospitals-of-avoiding-charity-care.html

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Thank you guys so much!  I can't tell you how much I appriciate your help with this.  I would never have found this stuff on my own. 

 

After reading up on WA Sate Charity Care, I believe I would have qualified.  At the time of these bills, I had no insurance and I was either unemployed, or very low income.  I do not have the dates, but I do know I was never offered or informed about Charity Care, this is the first I've ever heard of it.  From what I can garner from the readings, the services covered by Charity Care would include anything the hospital did for me, such as blood work??? (its not just ER stuff right?)  If I remember correctly, my blood was taken at a clinic and sent to the hospital for processing.  However, part of what I'm being sued for is a $70 dentist bill, which was left over after insurance.  Should I assume that if even part of the lawsuit is flawed the whole thing is? (for such a small bill, this all seems very punitive)

 

I'm thinking I should call or write the hospital and apply for Charity Care, and send the online template letter to the attorney AND put this down as an affirmative defense on my ANSWER. 

 

Anything else before I proceed??

 

Thank you again!

That's ok Clydsmom, You didn't know all that. But let me be clear that the hospitals ARE being rebuffed by health insurers for their costs and being told they are to take the money that the health insurers give BUT are attempting to do an end run by billing the patient for cost they are contracturally supposed to eat.

 

As we have found out this is true in this case. As for how I know this, It happened to me for an 85.00 lab bill. I ultimately had the health insurer call for them to rescind the bill which they did. You see the hospitals are billing and when they send them to collections how are people going to fight it. They learn to fight here on CIC.

 

Don't be a "Debbie Downer"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObdC3uhPeEY&index=11&list=PLEQ4qo5ubyw57eaenV7rlJjpy_NKlTXi_

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From what I can garner from the readings, the services covered by Charity Care would include anything the hospital did for me, such as blood work??? (its not just ER stuff right?)  If I remember correctly, my blood was taken at a clinic and sent to the hospital for processing.  

 

Financially qualifying for charity care is merely one part of the equation.  The second part is the care itself has to qualify.  The dental bill does not. Private providers do not have to offer charity care.  The blood work may or may not.

 

Having your blood drawn at a clinic and sent to the hospital does not automatically mean the hospital is billing for the service.  There are some clinics that merely use the facility to run the test and they pay the hospital but the clinic bills the patient for the entire service.  In that case the blood work would not be eligible for charity care if the hospital is not the one billing you for the services that is part of the suit.

 

Should I assume that if even part of the lawsuit is flawed the whole thing is? (for such a small bill, this all seems very punitive)

 

You should never assume ANYTHING when it comes to a lawsuit.  If one part is flawed then that part could be dismissed but it does not cancel out valid other parts of a suit.  

 

Of course it seems punitive to you.  However, you received care and did not pay for it.  If the providers do not get paid for their services exactly how do you expect them to keep the doors open and provide care?   Health care is NOT something you are entitled to and it costs money.

 

I'm thinking I should call or write the hospital and apply for Charity Care, and send the online template letter to the attorney AND put this down as an affirmative defense on my ANSWER. 

 

Anything else before I proceed??

 

I think before you do something that could end up making their case for them you should find out exactly what the bills are for and WHO did the billing for the services when the care was received.  If the hospital did not do the billing you cannot apply to them for charity care.  You also need to see the billing summary and find out if the already DID apply charity care.  If they did you cannot get it twice.  

 

Once again charity care does not necessarily mean FREE.  You can get charity care but still owe a portion of the bill.  

 

But let me be clear that the hospitals ARE being rebuffed by health insurers for their costs and being told they are to take the money that the health insurers give BUT are attempting to do an end run by billing the patient for cost they are contracturally supposed to eat.

 

Balance billing USED to be a big problem but it was dealt with at least 5 if not 10 years ago or more.  Now that patients get an EOMB the facilities are not able to do that as they used to.  

 

As we have found out this is true in this case.

 

It most certainly is NOT true in this case.  The OP was uninsured which means there was no balance billing outside of contracted amounts.  Second:  you have not seen the bills and for all you know charity care was already applied.  I will keep repeating it: CHARITY CARE DOES NOT MEAN FREE.

 

Don't be a "Debbie Downer"

 

This isn't about being a downer at all.  The OP is being sued and this is not credit card debt.  Medical debt cases are much easier to prove.  They are straight contract law as every patient signs a financial guarantee promising to pay.  

 

You cannot assume what works in one case works in EVERY case.  In this suit charity care should certainly be investigated however, not without researching the bills first.  If this is handled the wrong way all the OP will do is admit to the debt and fast track to a summary judgment.

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Thanks guys for the discourse here, I'm learning a lot and trying to take it all in. 

 

The medical bills are from the hospital, not the clinic.  If memory serves, my doctor at the clinic, ordered blood work which was sent to the hospital and then I just got a bill.  No one talked to me about prices, insurance, or charity care. I never stepped into the hospital, talked to hospital staff, or signed a contract for the amount they billed me. But the clinic knew I didn't have insurance because I had to pay out-of-pocket at the time I saw the doctor. 

 

I appologize because this is all really confusing and my memory of the events and what was done is horrible. 

 

Again, I live in a small town.  The mayor is also the head of this collection agency which is suing me.  The only consumer debt attorney in town is working for the mayor on this suit.  So if I try to get a sit down with a lawyer, it would have to be one out of town, most likey 100+ miles away, unless free phone consults are common.

 

I am begining to think that I will need to call the hospital and get more detailed information.  But what if they don't have it? Or if they do, will I be doing my opponent's work for them, can I still deny the charges?  Should I just ANSWER the summons with denial of the charges THEN work on the charity care side, or do I need to know that ahead of time to put it down as an affirmitve defense?

 

Thnaks!

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@Atrosity

 

WA Charity Care only applies to hospitals, that is, where someone can be monitored for over 24 hrs.  It does not apply to clinics. Again, you need to gather all the facts together and discuss this with an experienced consumer lawyer or someone at those other two WA legal aid clinics I linked.

 

Do the Charity Care laws apply to all 
hospitals? 
Yes. All hospitals in the state of Washington 
must provide Charity Care. R.C.W. 
70.170.020(2)4
; WAC 246-453-010(2)
 
 

     (4) "Hospital" means any institution, place, building, or agency which provides accommodations, facilities and services over a continuous period of twenty-four hours or more, for observation, diagnosis, or care, of two or more individuals not related to the operator who are suffering from illness, injury, deformity, or abnormality, or from any other condition for which obstetrical, medical, or surgical services would be appropriate for care or diagnosis. "Hospital" as used in this chapter does not include hotels, or similar places furnishing only food and lodging, or simply domiciliary care; nor does it include clinics, or physician's offices where patients are not regularly kept as bed patients for twenty-four hours or more; nor does it include nursing homes, as defined and which come within the scope of chapter 18.51 RCW; nor does it include birthing centers, which come within the scope of chapter 18.46 RCW; nor does it include psychiatric hospitals, which come within the scope of chapter 71.12 RCW; nor any other hospital, or institution specifically intended for use in the diagnosis and care of those suffering from mental illness, intellectual disability, convulsive disorders, or other abnormal mental condition. Furthermore, nothing in this chapter or the rules adopted pursuant thereto shall be construed as authorizing the supervision, regulation, or control of the remedial care or treatment of residents or patients in any hospital conducted for those who rely primarily upon treatment by prayer or spiritual means in accordance with the creed or tenets of any well recognized church or religious denominations.

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The medical bills are from the hospital, not the clinic.  If memory serves, my doctor at the clinic, ordered blood work which was sent to the hospital and then I just got a bill.  No one talked to me about prices, insurance, or charity care. I never stepped into the hospital, talked to hospital staff, or signed a contract for the amount they billed me. But the clinic knew I didn't have insurance because I had to pay out-of-pocket at the time I saw the doctor. 

 

They are not required to talk to you about prices, insurance, or charity care.  As a patient you must be pro-active and do this yourself the same way you would ask a mechanic about the charges for a repair to your car or what a lawyer would charge to represent you.  While WA law does require that hospitals offer charity care the key word is "offer" that does not mean that everyone who applies for it will automatically get it.  Patients must apply and be approved and it is not always at 100%.  Plus, once the fund runs dry the facility is not required to provide anymore charity care.  There is not a bottomless pit of money to take care of everyone for free.

 

The clinic knowing you had no insurance is not relevant.  It does not absolve you of having to pay for the services you received for the lab work.

 

Start by simply calling the hospital and asking for the billing statements related to the lab work you had drawn on xx-xx-year.  If they do not have it that is a good thing because the Plaintiff would have no records to support their lawsuit.  

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I didn't know you worked for a hospital Clydesmom. I think the OP should not just take it up the wazoo but try to stall and get expert advice from a medical debt attorney.

 

You see there is a big shift in banking and large industries to screw the consumer. The hospitals try hard to make you pay stuff the health plan is supposed to. I thought Obama care was supposed to alleviate all that so everyone could have health coverage.

 

And where we had a very civil discussion I am glad we focused on the OP's dilemma and didn't let it devolve into a big name calling fest.

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The hospitals try hard to make you pay stuff the health plan is supposed to.

 

SIGH.  NO they do not.  One more time:  15 years ago or more balance billing was a huge problem.  Now it is contractually prohibited.  What hospitals are pursuing is the out of pocket portion the patient is required to pay.  Far too many patients take the attitude that what ever their insurance pays is plenty and they completely ignore or flat out refuse to pay their out of pocket portion.  

 

I actually worked for a private clinic of 9 physicians and over 75 employees that ended up closing because of the outstanding debt from patients who refused to pay what they owed.  Not because the clinic over billed but simply they would not pay what their carrier identified as their responsibility.  

 

I thought Obama care was supposed to alleviate all that so everyone could have health coverage.

 

Having health care insurance doesn't mean that patients won't ever owe a medical bill.  This exact thought process is why patients end up in financial trouble with medical debt.  They assume because they have an insurance card that everything is automatically covered at 100% and they have to pay nothing beyond their premiums.  Unfortunately with the Affordable Health Care Act what it did was force many in to high deductible plans where they have to pay $5,000 or $10,000 out of pocket long before coverage kicks in.  It is basically coverage in case something catastrophic happens.  

 

Health care coverage and the bills for care have to be managed by the patient just like any other household expense.

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There is NOTHING that says whether the OP has insurance or not.  It doesn't even say what kind of provider provided the care.  How did you come to the conclusion that there was no insurance AND that the OP qualifies for charity care as well?

 

In my 30 years of experience in health care that low balance tells me it is one of three issues:

 

1)  this is the out of pocket portion after insurance DID pay and charity care cannot be applied as it is illegal rebating even if the patient is low income or indigent.  it is ILLEGAL to do so.

 

2)  It is not a hospital but a private provider such as a physician or lab in which case charity care does NOT apply at all.  

 

3)  Charity care has already been applied and this is the amount the patient is expected to pay after they have been given all charity discounts.  Charity care does not automatically mean FREE.

 

 

It most certainly is NOT a common practice and unless you can present some verifiable evidence of that it is merely your personal bias and a grossly inaccurate statement.  Most often if the plan pricing is not given it is because the facility was not even made aware the patient had insurance at the time of care.  Once they are given policy information the claim is submitted and all pricing in effect.

 
 

 

I will give you one very important reason:  while it MAY delay the proceedings it is clear that a JDB has the account.  In order for charity care to apply the OP would have to admit the debt was theirs and if they already got that discount or it does not apply now the JDB has the admission it needs via paperwork the OP filled out to get a summary judgment.  

 

The very first question any hospital asks you in the ER or one of the clinics is your insurance provider. At that time they are supposed to give you the charity care forms when you respond that you had no insurance and no money. You see this is why the law was enacted, because hospitals do not typically give the proper information for the care of the indigent. I know hospitals have to make money but we will never be able in this country to care for the poor.

 

The truth is every person has faced the improper billing practices over time. The doctors and nurses aren't to blame, it is the corporate side the billers, and the managers who do this. Then selling them to JDB's is even more nefarious due to the brazen tactics used by collection agencies.

 

In this instance the Charity Care paperwork might work but it will possibly cause the withdrawal of the suit. There is no harm in asserting the right to Charity Care and one more thing, the hospitals all have arbitration in their paperwork what are they doing suing in court?

 

The hospital would already have a signed paper so I think that asserting the charity care affirmative defense nullifies their right to suit. They were supposed to offer the paperwork when the bill was first defaulted. I don't see how asserting this is harmful, because in court they can prove that service was rendered but if they did not comply with the law they are to dismiss the suit.

 

I believe this topic needs further investigation as this problem will likely reoccur in the future. I will look further into this because medical debt collections will increase over time.

 

So to sum up what I am thinking is the strategy is formally dispute it with the hospital get a copy of their charity care form and fill it out and send it to the hospital cmrrr. as for the lawsuit file a demurrer or answer with a general denial

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The very first question any hospital asks you in the ER or one of the clinics is your insurance provider. At that time they are supposed to give you the charity care forms when you respond that you had no insurance and no money. You see this is why the law was enacted, because hospitals do not typically give the proper information for the care of the indigent. I know hospitals have to make money but we will never be able in this country to care for the poor.

 

Except your scenario does not come close to what the OP situation is.  He had blood drawn at an OUTSIDE clinic that sent it to the hospital.  At that point the hospital had ZERO contact with the patient and only sent a bill.  That is when the patient is required to ask about charity care.  However, like most he probably simply ignored it and tossed it in the trash until he got sued.

 

It has NO affect on the dental bill he is being sued for at all.  

 

You also over look that many people who come into the ER are unconscious and sign NOTHING.  It is later that charity care can be discussed.

 

In this instance the Charity Care paperwork might work but it will possibly cause the withdrawal of the suit. There is no harm in asserting the right to Charity Care and one more thing, the hospitals all have arbitration in their paperwork what are they doing suing in court?

 

I have YET to see a hospital that has arbitration in their paper work and even if they DID you have to compel your right to it just as in other contracts that have it.

 

Charity care is NOT going to cause and automatic withdrawal.  There is more than one provider involved and one is exempt from the law.

 

The hospital would already have a signed paper so I think that asserting the charity care affirmative defense nullifies their right to suit. They were supposed to offer the paperwork when the bill was first defaulted. I don't see how asserting this is harmful, because in court they can prove that service was rendered but if they did not comply with the law they are to dismiss the suit.

 

It does not nullify their right to sue.  It merely gives a defendant a means of settling the situation.  You also ASSUME they never sent the paperwork to the OP.  If he is like most patients he didn't read it, let alone fill it out and send it back, then simply tossed it in the trash because he could not pay.  

 

Of course you don't see how this is harmful.  Your bias is clouding your judgment.  You are assuming the balance is because they NEVER applied a discount at all.  What is your plan if the billing paperwork says:  Lab work:  $650    Charity care discount:  $400    Patient balance:  $200?  If they already gave a charity discount and are only seeking the remaining balance then what?  They complied with the law and the OP still didn't pay.  

 

CHARITY CARE DOES NOT MEAN FREE.

 

So to sum up what I am thinking is the strategy is formally dispute it with the hospital get a copy of their charity care form and fill it out and send it to the hospital cmrrr. as for the lawsuit file a demurrer or answer with a general denial

 

Disputing it with the hospital is TOO late since a suit has been filed.  The OP needs to do discovery and get copies of all formal billing and see what was billed and for how much.  If they already applied a charity discount then that defense is gone.  If they did not then they can assert that as an affirmative defense at that point.  

 

To apply for charity care without knowing what was billed and for how much along with any applied credits simply makes their job easier if they already gave that discount.

 

Do you see the difference NOW?

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Bias against whom? and it is you who are making assumptions when the OP has stated they didn't give the papers to them. anyway I am not bias but offer true help and not NO, Nyet, Nunca for a problem they specifically asked for advice.

 

So what is your advice mine is previously posted Is yours to just take one for the team? It is difficult to understand why you would spend hours trying to say all that stuff when a simple "just pay them would do." I don't get it, enlighten us please.

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and it is you who are making assumptions when the OP has stated they didn't give the papers to them.

 

That is NOT what I said.  You assumed what the OP said was correct.  I pointed out there were several other possibilities NOT being considered that could damage a defense.

 

So what is your advice mine is previously posted Is yours to just take one for the team? It is difficult to understand why you would spend hours trying to say all that stuff when a simple "just pay them would do." I don't get it, enlighten us please.

 

I NEVER said that either and you know it.  ONE MORE TIME:  my recommendation is that the OP get all the billing paperwork and find out exactly what was charged and if any credits were applied due to their indigent status at the time.  The reason is if charity care has already been applied they may still owe money.  I do not know what about that you don't understand but what ever.  

 

For the LAST TIME:  Charity care does not mean FREE.  Many patients are still expected to pay a portion.  

 

The other issue in this case is the OP knows this is his bill. There isn't a question about him owing it.  The question is whether or not the amount is valid.  This isn't about "taking one for the team" the reality is he is being sued for a debt that IS HIS.  There MIGHT be defenses but the route you are suggesting could cause more harm than good rather than getting the billing paperwork FIRST and then deciding the best defense.  

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