Got call from NCO collection but never received bill from the hospital

by Rashmi
(Austin, TX )

I got call from the collection agency friday evening saying that I hadn't pay 1100 something dollars to Texas orthopedic hospital where I had foot surgery on june 16th 2011. I had prepaid 450 dollars before surgery and was told that I would get bill after or within 30 days if the amount exceeds. However I never got a bill so I thought $450 covered it. Last friday (oct 28, 2011) I get call from collection agency. I don't know how to deal with this. If I had received bill I would have paid. Now I am upset that the hospital send it to collection without my knowledge. I have a very good credit score and I am afraid it is/will be ruined. I believe its hospital's fault for not telling me. How do I deal with this? Please help...

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Rashmi - You are right to be outraged. This kind of thing happens all the time, and it's not right. You are correct that it could really hurt your credit.

You do have the right request written verification of the debt. You should ask for this so you can find out if this is legitimate. You should also contact your insurance company to see whether there is an explanation of benefits available that will describe your responsibility.

If you determine that the amount the collection agency is trying to charge you is legitimate, we would encourage you to negotiate with them to remove it if you pay it right away.

We would also suggest you file a complaint against the doctor's office for failing to notify you of this bill before it went to collections.

You'll also want to check out the Medical Debt Responsibility Act of 2011, proposed legislation that would require credit reporting agencies to remove medical debts from credit reports 45 days after they have been paid or settled.

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