Medical Debt Dispute


I disputed ER treatment received at a baytown, tx. area hospital almost immediately following the questionable treatment. I had several conversations with the hospital admin & one where the medical director participated, after which the hospital nearly instantly put my bill in for
collections. no past due notices, no warning, no nothing...

so what can i do?

Comments for Medical Debt Dispute

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Mar 02, 2010
disputing medical debt
by: Gerri

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

We are receiving numerous complaints about medical collection accounts. Unfortunately, medical providers are not required to tell you they are going to send your account to collections before they do. It?s a huge problem for consumers who either dispute the medical bills or never even received a bill notifying them of the collection account.

It sounds like you have a legitimate dispute over this bill, and now you have suffered credit damage as a result of their policies. I think you should get very aggressive about pursuing this. Other than suing you, they can?t do any more damage now!

(Please make sure you are monitoring your credit reports and keeping copies for your records.)

One option is to take the Clark Howard approach. Picket outside the hospital with a big sign saying that the hospital ruined your credit reports. Make sure you check the local ordinances on picketing.

Another option is to talk with your state agency that regulates hospitals. Every state is different, and there may be multiple agencies involved, but you can start with your state Department of Health and Human Services (or something similar).

As far as the collection agency goes, you have the right to request written verification of the debt. As we explain in Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, you should do this in writing immediately.

You may also want to talk with a consumer law attorney to determine whether the hospital may have broken any laws in either the services provided to you, or its collection policies.

You may also be interested in knowing that last summer Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilpatrick introduced a bill to protect consumers from unfair credit reporting due to medical bills. If you support H.R.3421 The Medical Debt Relief Act of 2009, contact your elected officials in Washington.

Please let us know what happens!

P.S. If you haven't done so already, please read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free.

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