Hospital Has Turned Over Account Balance to Collector

by Susan
(Maryland)

I reside in Maryland and apparently have a balance due with a hospital for my copay amounts. I have medical bills which were paid by the insurance company after going through an appeal process. This apparently left a balance due for my copayment amounts. Upon pulling a copy of my credit report, I see that there are amounts placed with a collection agency for these copays. I was never notified by the hospital that I had any balances due even after I contacted them asking for my balance. At the time I called, they send me a printout and I wrothe them a check which they cashed. Now I see that there are different/or more which were never sent to me. The hoospital has my curretn address, etc. in order to notify me. Can the hospital turn my copays over to a collection agency without first notifying me that I owe something?

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Mar 17, 2011
Hospital Turned Account Balance to Collector
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

Sounds like a frustrating situation, Susan, and no the hospital was not required to notify you that you have a past due outstanding balance with it.

I would try to resolve your problem by contacting the hospital to see if you can set up an in-person meeting with the appropriate person in its billing or accounts receivable department. (More often than you can get more done in person than over the phone.) If you cannot arrange an in-person meeting, then make copies of all of your account-related documentation, including the spread sheet you were sent, your cashed check (both sides of the check), and so on. Then write a letter to the hospital that clearly details the history of your problem, referencing the relevant documentation, and request that the hospital provide you with a clear accounting. Send everything via certified mail with a return receipt requested.

If you determine that the hospital provided you with inaccurate account balance information and that you still owe it money, ask the hospital if it will accept payment in full in return for taking your account back from the collector and removing the negative information from your credit history. (Offer payment in full only if you can afford to make a lump sum payment.) Otherwise, find out if the hospital will agree to a payment plan in return for taking your account back from the collector and removing the negative information from your credit history.

If you can work out something with the hospital, get the agreement in writing. If the hospital won't put the terms of your agreement in writing, then write a letter stating the terms and send a copy of the letter to the hospital via certified mail return receipt requested. Direct the letter to whomever you negotiated the agreement with.

If you determine that the hospital's records are in error and you do not owe it any more money, ask that it correct its records, take your account back from the collector and remove the negative information from your credit history. Again, put your request in writing. If the hospital refuses to comply, get in touch with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve debt collection problems. All it may take to get the hospital to do what you are asking is for it to receive a letter from your attorney.

One other thing, if the hospital agrees to get the negative information removed from your credit history, order a copy of your history from each of the three national credit reporting agencies a couple months later to confirm that the information is gone. If it's not, contact the hospital again to remind it of your agreement. If the hospital continues not to act, contact a consumer law attorney.




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