Can Debt Collector On Behalf Of Medical Offfice

by Lisa

...Place their Name On My credit Report AS a Creditor as soon as it receives the bill, then start contacting Me???

I disagreed with the charge for services by a Mississippi Emergency Room "Physicians Assistant" over and above what my insurance company paid to them. Although the Hospital was contracted with my insurance,this ER company claims it was not and it would not honor my insurer's adjustment of the ER physician's charges. When I first entered the ER and registered, I presented my card and was told the hospital was under contract and I "was fine."
I contacted the ER physicians co. right away when I received their bill saying I was still responsible for their Balance in full: regardless of what my insurance subtracted under a contracted with their hospital. I told them I thought they were holding themselves out as a part of the hospital they were working in, and I would have to call my insurance company. My insurance said I was absolutely not responsible for any more than the contracted amount.
I called the ER company one week later and they told me they sent it to a collection agency, who handles their unpaid bills on the same day that I called them. I ended up being charged $1500 for a creek in my neck after seeing a PA for 10 minutes.
Is it legal for that collection agency to place on my credit report that "they" are a creditor who I owe $172? I never received anything in writing from them and the admit that they did not have my correct address. However, the debt collector said If I wanted them to remove the debt as being "DEROGATORY_ ABS COLLECTION AGENCY " from my report , I must first stop disputing the charges and pay in full!!
This is so unfair! I have never had a derogatory reporting on my credit report. It's like they are trying to coerce you into paying by notifying the credit reporting agencies.
My husband says just pay it, but my neighbor says they did the same thing to her after a visit to the ER. She, like me had no idea who this collection agency was placing the exact same words on her report. We both teach school, but we have been proud we stay out of debt.PLEASE HELP!

Comments for Can Debt Collector On Behalf Of Medical Offfice

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May 23, 2009
Thank You!!!
by: Anonymous

Thank You!!!!
It may be a small amount for me, but I can not help but thinking that their "Procedure/Policy" is hurting many citizens who do not realize that these acts are illegal and fraudulent.
Gerri, both you and Mary are deeply appreciated for all you do! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

May 22, 2009
medical collection account
by: Gerri

I agree with you...this sounds quite outrageous. I see a few potential problems here:

1. The hospital is not honoring its agreement with the insurance company. I am not sure whom you need to complain to here, but I would recommend you ask your insurance company what you can do. You can also visit for more suggestions on filing a complaint against the hospital.

2. When the debt collector called you, they were required by law to follow up in writing within 5 business days, providing you with specific information about the debt and your right to dispute it. If they did not, they broke a federal law. (We cover this in Chapter One of the ebook.)

3. The debt collector should not have told you that the only way to resolve this was to pay it. You have a right, under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, to dispute a debt you do not believe you owe. You appear to have a legitimate complaint here, and you should be able to exercise your right.

I'd suggest you first immediately dispute the item on your credit reports (with the credit reporting agencies). If you do not have a copy of your credit report from all three agencies go to to get them. Then follow the instructions they provide for filing a dispute. While the account is under dispute it will not hurt your credit scores. (Make sure you keep copies of your credit reports. You may need them if you take the collector to court.)

Next, you have two options for dealing with the debt collector.

1. You can call a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Even though the amount is small, if you have a good case, they may take it on a contingent fee basis.

2. If you can't work with an attorney, pursue it yourself. Send a certified letter to the collection agency notifying them why you believe you do not owe the debt, why you believe they have broken the law and demand they remove it from your report immediately. (You will find more guidance and sample dispute letters in our ebook.) Send a copy to the FTC and your state attorney general's office.

Please let us know what happens with this OK?

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