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Author: KingHugh Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308452  
Subject: Medical Bill Date: 3/8/2009 6:04 PM
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Hello everybody;

I have been a Fool for several years, but don't stop in as often as I used too....No time anymore...but I still lurk....

So, anyhow, I am currently fighting with a collection agency about a medical bill from over 2 years ago. The back story is that my wife was admitted to a hosptial, and when the bill came from the hospital it indicated that they needed current insurance information, it was confirmed, and they reported that they would submit for payment (the information on the bill they sent was correct with regard to the insurance info BTW). FF to now and we have a bill from the collection company, investigation with the insurance company reveals that the charges were submitted, but not timely, so they were denied. All other charges related to this claim were paid (Ambulance, ER, 3 days of inpatient stay, etc...what is outstanding is the ER Doctor fee of around $500.00)

My position is that I am not going to pay for the Dr's failure to submit the paperwork in a timely fashion. He is not a participating provider, so I would have been responsible for 20% of the bill (ins would have paid 80%). I've sent a letter to the collection agency offering that amount....they replied that the Dr is not obligated to submit for payment from the insurance co...I replied that they told us they were going too, otherwise I would have taken care of it myself which would have secured the appropriate insurance benefits, So I offered the 20% again, and added not to contact me again, and to sue me if they chose not to accept the 20% I offered. If they did choose to accept my offer, I instructed them to send to me in writing a statement that they would accept it as payment in full with no recourse, and upon receipt of that I would forward the agreed upon amount within 10 days.

Thoughts? Do I have a leg to stand on? Do you think I'll be sued?

Thanks;
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Author: Crosenfield Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285777 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/8/2009 6:39 PM
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Sued for $400? In small claims court, maybe.

You could call the insurance company and try to talk them into paying it.

When you signed into the ER, you surely signed something that said you were responsible for the bill. Used to be you paid the doctor, then collected from the insurance company. Now the doctor will usually do it for you. This one's office messed up, but you were still treated.

Best wishes, Chris

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285778 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/8/2009 9:54 PM
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<<I've sent a letter to the collection agency offering that amount....they replied that the Dr is not obligated to submit for payment from the insurance co...I replied that they told us they were going too, otherwise I would have taken care of it myself which would have secured the appropriate insurance benefits,>>


Interesting theory, but I doubt that it will wash. No one is going to remember making such a deal with you.

And the unfortunate fact of life is that you should have followed up on it. I'm not saying I would have done any better --- I might well have made the assumption they would follow through as well.

<<So I offered the 20% again, and added not to contact me again, and to sue me if they chose not to accept the 20% I offered. If they did choose to accept my offer, I instructed them to send to me in writing a statement that they would accept it as payment in full with no recourse, and upon receipt of that I would forward the agreed upon amount within 10 days.
>>


I'm guessing this will simply go to another collection agency for a repeat performance, since a new collection agency would not be bound by your cease and desist letter. Expect frequent repetitions of this in the years ahead while the unpaid bill continues to show up on your credit report.

The 20% isn't much of an incentive to settle the issue. I'd be inclined to offer the doctor 50% directly and include evidence that the bill would have been paid had his office done their job. If that didn't work I'd pay off what's owed.

Actually, I'd pay off the full amount now. It's really owed, and presumably the Doc helped you out when you needed it, and extended you credit. The bill really deserves to be paid in full.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: wrjohnston91283 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285779 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/8/2009 10:15 PM
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Actually, I'd pay off the full amount now. It's really owed, and presumably the Doc helped you out when you needed it, and extended you credit. The bill really deserves to be paid in full.

I'm going to take the alternate viewpoint.

Let's say that a doctor performed services valued at $1,000. Your insurance would pay $800 and you pay $200. The services were worth more than $200 to you, so you went ahead and did them.

Now, the doctor's office has failed to follow up on their end to collect the $800. THEY were the ones who dropped the ball, not you. The services they rendered may not have been worth $1,000 to you.

WRJ

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Author: ChuckFullOfNuts One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285780 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/8/2009 10:23 PM
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The problem with "taking a stand and not paying the bill" is two-fold:

1. As mentioned above, it really *was* your responsibility. Yes, it sucks, and yes, probably 99% of the people here wouldn't have followed up on it (I'm sure I wouldn't have), but that doesn't change the fact.

2. It's going to really screw up your credit if you insist on seeing this through a collection agency or two.

I would grit my teeth, cry out how it's unfair, and pay the bill. And then figure if I could somehow get reimbursed from someone like the doctor or whoever (but I wouldn't hold out much hope for that personally).

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285781 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/8/2009 10:23 PM
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Now, the doctor's office has failed to follow up on their end to collect the $800. THEY were the ones who dropped the ball, not you. The services they rendered may not have been worth $1,000 to you.


FTR, I think the doctor's office dropped the ball but...just about every doctor office I've visited has the same standard paperwork wherein the patient/guardian agrees to be responsible for all charges, regardless of what happens with their insurance.

Minxie

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285782 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/8/2009 10:43 PM
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My position is that I am not going to pay for the Dr's failure to submit the paperwork in a timely fashion.

An interesting example of how our society has become a bunch of entitlement whiners with low morals.

The way it ACTUALLY works is like this:

You go see the doctor and you sign a legal contract agreeing to be responsible for paying the bill. Now, the doctor might offer as a favor for good customer relations to deal directly with your insurance company, and the insurance company might offer as a favor for good customer relations to deal directly with your doctor. But neither one of them has any obligation to do so.

The only obligations to be found in this situation are YOUR obligation to pay the doctor, and possibly you're insurance company's obligation to pay you a percentage of it depending on their contract with you.

You can't morally refuse to pay what you agreed to be responsible for, and justify it on the fact that favor-on-the-side didn't work out. This is what I mean by entitlement. It's become so customary for doctors to provide this service that we think it's owed to us. It's still a favor no matter how customary it has become.

xtn

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Author: bankerjim Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285783 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:33 AM
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The problem I see here is there's no info about the Dr. ever telling him he owed the money. All of a sudden, 2 years later, oh surprise! I never submitted this to insurance, pay up! Most Dr's offices send a couple of bills before turning things over to collections.

But.....I have noticed a trend (I see 15+ credit reports a week x3 years, and it seems too many to be 'slackers' that tried to jump a bill): Many doctors (and especially with hospital Drs, where there can be many physicians treating) are turning accounts to collections before attempting to really collect. Maybe they send one notice, then bang, 45 days later, you have a collection notice. Or maybe not. Maybe the first time you find out is sitting at my desk applying for a car loan.

In order to pay a bill, you have to know you HAVE a bill due...

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Author: SooozFool Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285784 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 1:14 AM
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>>An interesting example of how our society has become a bunch of entitlement whiners with low morals.<<

The OP paid for, and was covered by, health insurance. In reliance on a promise (more likely, a demand) by the doctor's office to take the lead role in submitting the paperwork to insurance in a timely manner -- probably undertaken so the doc could get paid faster & more reliably by dealing directly with the insurance company -- the OP is now unable to get what he paid for from the insurance company.

<<The way it ACTUALLY works is like this:

You go see the doctor and you sign a legal contract agreeing to be responsible for paying the bill. Now, the doctor might offer as a favor for good customer relations to deal directly with your insurance company, and the insurance company might offer as a favor for good customer relations to deal directly with your doctor. But neither one of them has any obligation to do so.
<<

I seriously doubt that any of this is happening in the name of "good customer relations." It looks like a straight-up business decision. If you (the doc) think you'll get paid faster and more reliably if you submit the claims, you'll offer to do so. If you don't, then you tell patients they've got to handle that themselves.

I think the doctor whose office dropped the ball here should write off the bill as a loss because they screwed up here. Yes, the doctor should have been paid, but it was his own error that led to insurance coverage lapsing. If he wasn't going to honor his promise to process the paperwork in a timely fashion, he shouldn't have induced the patient to rely on that promise in the first place.

Soooz

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Author: Jennlee222 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285785 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 8:06 AM
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I've worked in medical billing and your insurance coverage is a contract between you and them. The medical provider bills as a courtesy and because it's usually the best chance they have of getting paid for service. Still, the contract is between you and your coverage provider, so it's up to you to ensure that they pay as they should. Usually you would sign something from the medical provider saying that in the event your coverage does not cover, that you will have to pay.

If the provider has no contract with the insurance, then they can bill you when the insurer does not pay, regardless of the reason, including missing filing deadlines.

The patient is responsible to see that their obligations are met, whether by themselves or their contracted coverage provider.

So legally, I think you likely do owe the money, and the company could sue. Whether they will for that low amount, I don't know.

On the other hand, it is bad practice if they did not file in a timely manner. It may have been their fault - billing errors, delay in medical staff putting in records. It seems that there was some delay because they didn't have the correct information at first - they may have spent time billing a previous coverage provider or something. In my experience, a provider will often write off a missed filing deadline rejection, but they are probably not obligated to do so (depends on if they have a contract with the insurer directly - since your provider was out of network, I'm guessing no such contract exists in your case).

I'd contact the provider's office directly and see if they will write off this debt since it is likely to be at least partially their fault in billing late. If they won't then you should probably pay it.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285786 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 9:42 AM
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Now, the doctor's office has failed to follow up on their end to collect the $800. THEY were the ones who dropped the ball, not you. The services they rendered may not have been worth $1,000 to you.

Most doctor's offices and ERs now make you sign a statement before any appointment/treatment that basically states "I am responsible for any payment that my insurance company doesn't pay". So once you've signed that, even if a doctor/hospital puts a claim into your insurance too late, technically you're still on the hook with the doctor/hospital.

If you don't want your credit screwed up, the best thing to do is pay the bill and then try to get reimbursed from your insurance company yourself.

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Author: wasmick Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285787 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 9:49 AM
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The way it ACTUALLY works is like this:

You go see the doctor and you sign a legal contract agreeing to be responsible for paying the bill.


This is ACTUALLY inaccurate. Clients are under no obligation to sign that release as-is...I never sign it without making the necessary changes to the standard form. Every Dr.'s office questions the changes, none has refused service because of them.


Now, the doctor might offer as a favor for good customer relations to deal directly with your insurance company, and the insurance company might offer as a favor for good customer relations to deal directly with your doctor. But neither one of them has any obligation to do so.

Nonsense. If the Dr's office didn't work with Insurance companies directly, they would be working for significantly less money. It's in their self interest to do so. It's not a favor to the customer, nor is there any altruism here. They do it because it's in their financial interest to do so.


The only obligations to be found in this situation are YOUR obligation to pay the doctor, and possibly you're insurance company's obligation to pay you a percentage of it depending on their contract with you.

Again wrong. This statement assumes that you signed the financial release without modifying it.


You can't morally refuse to pay what you agreed to be responsible for, and justify it on the fact that favor-on-the-side didn't work out. This is what I mean by entitlement. It's become so customary for doctors to provide this service that we think it's owed to us. It's still a favor no matter how customary it has become.

Ridiculous. Dr's offices work with Insurance companies because it gets account receivables in the door faster; that's all. They're not doing anyone but themselves a favor. I suppose they also accept the insurance company's adjusted payout amount as a favor as well?

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Author: ShiningDawn Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285788 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 9:52 AM
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On the other hand, it is bad practice if they did not file in a timely manner. It may have been their fault - billing errors, delay in medical staff putting in records. It seems that there was some delay because they didn't have the correct information at first - they may have spent time billing a previous coverage provider or something. In my experience, a provider will often write off a missed filing deadline rejection, but they are probably not obligated to do so (depends on if they have a contract with the insurer directly - since your provider was out of network, I'm guessing no such contract exists in your case).

One other thing, contact the doctor's office to see if they have evidence of timely filing. When I worked at a hospital one of the things we experienced was insurance companies "losing" claims multiple times, even after a representative indicated he had the claim in front of him in a previous call or we had fax confirmation. We even had problems when we had signature confirmation of delivery of claims.

If there is evidence of timely filing, the insurance company should pay the claim, even after 2 years. You will probably have to work with the insurance company to get this paid though and it will take a lot of time.

Dawn

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285789 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 10:07 AM
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wasmick -

Your point that a patient is not under any obligation to sign that release as-is is well taken, but is not of value in this discussion. The OP isn't you, and unless we are told otherwise I believe it is safe to assume he signed it as-is. Most people probably do.

Your point that the Dr's office deals with the insurance company for their own interests instead of as a favor the the patient is also well taken. You're absolutely most probably right. Still it doesn't change my point. They aren't under any obligation to do it and the patient who signed the release as-is is legally - and morally - on the hook.

Sorry my post was inaccurate enough for you to jump all over the details that were immaterial to the basic point.

xtn

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Author: wasmick Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285790 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 10:16 AM
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Sorry my post was inaccurate enough for you to jump all over the details that were immaterial to the basic point.


Apology accepted.

I didn't make the same assumptions of the OP being a shiftless whiner with low morals nor jump to the same unsupported conclusions you did. I guess that's why my perspective on the issues was different.

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285793 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:02 PM
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>>>but not timely, so they were denied.<<<<


Does your insurance company, the one you had at the time, have (HAD) a contract with this service provider? If yes then:

Did you get a statement of benefits from your insurance company, or can you get them to send you a new one? You need something that states, provider name, amount submitted, amount reduced based on contract, amount paid, copay amount etc. There will likely be several notes at the bottom saying various things like, paid as agreed with service provider, provider can not charge difference between reimbursed and charged amount, or you only owe provider the amount in the copay column, etc. If so and you paid the amount you were required to by your insurance company, have your insurance company get in the providers face (a two way call often works.) They have a contract and insurance companies are sticklers for following the contract. These contracts often have significant penalties if the provider gets caught with their hands in the cookie jar.


If, on the other hand, your provider did not have a contract with this provider you are basically on your own. As such it was you responsibility to file with the insurance company, not the provider. They did this as a service, (I bet it even states that in the paperwork you signed at the office), one which they obviously screwed up, but still the responsibility was yours. I would have ripped them a new billing department and made sure every person in the area new about their poor billing practices but I can't argue with owing the money.

Sorry for the situation, I hope that the answers to the first two question are yes and you can get this resolved without forking over money, but even then it will take some determination and effort on your part.

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Author: llambe Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285794 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:03 PM
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Going to the hospital is not the same as going to your Dr's office, where you could pay the full bill right then if you wanted to. When I've gone to the hospital, it's been quite the opposite - in my experience it is impossible to find out who all the individual doctors involved are, or how many places you owe money to.

I have received 2 collections notices from hospital visits. I never received a bill, never knew I owed the money, and when I called the original provider (found from the collections notice), it turned out they HAD my correct address and phone number, but never billed me. In the 1st case if I'd had more experience I could have caught it from the insurance statement, but I naively expected them to actually send me a bill. In the 2nd case they had also not ever turned it in to the insurance so I had no way of even knowing I owed them money.

Personally I believe that it should be illegal to turn over to collections a bill that you never tried to collect!

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285795 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:05 PM
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But neither one of them has any obligation to do so.>>>


Not always. When you see a provider that the insurance company has a contract with, they are often required to submit the bill to the insurance on your behalf, that's part of the contract.

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285796 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:06 PM
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Have you tried contacting your insurance company? The claim might have been rejected for reasons other than what they claim.

Overall medical billing is a total mess. My husband's previous insurance company didn't send statements to the provider when the claim is applied to the deductible. The provider often doesn't send a bill until after a response is received from the insurance company. Each year this made a mess. The provider bills multiple times and isn't paid or notified why. We eventually receive a statement so that a copy of the insurance benefit form can be sent with the payment for the negotiated rate. For one provider, it isn't possible to contact them about the bill until a statement is received and we have the transaction number for that specific bill.

The bill from a lab states that they will submit the bill to insurance if payment is received from the patient. This makes absolutely no sense. They are in plan and negotiated rates are significantly below the billed rate. Their billing office barely speaks English. I have no confidence that the overpayment would be refunded. My husband has a standard document with the insurance information that is faxed each time and they then submit the bill to insurance.

A coworkers son was hit by a car. There were a large number of individual bills. At one point, he was called and threatened with collections if he didn't pay immediatly pay the $6 balance remaining on a multiple thousand dollar bill.

The new FICO rules that don't include small medical collections is overdue.

Debra

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Author: dswing Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285797 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:06 PM
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A similar situation happened to me several years ago.

A routine lab test was incorrectly coded, and between the hospital, lab, and insurance company (three parties!) nobody would admit to the mistake or take any initiative to fix it. In the meantime the lab sent the account to collections, and it was damaging my credit.

Out of stubborn principle, and the fact that I had "done nothing wrong" and these companies were "jerks" and I "was paid up on my insurance so should never be charged this routine fee" ... and yadda yadda yadda, every excuse in the book I had not to pay it, it was still my bill to pay.

About 5 years later when applying for a mortgage, the mortgage lender would not close on the loan before I settled this outstanding $200 "potential lien" that was on my history.

I paid the $200.


~dswing

(Who wonders how on earth with all the subprime no-doc NINJA lending going on, he ended up with a lender who balked at an unpaid bill of $200 ... )

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Author: determinedmom Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285798 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:07 PM
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A few comments:

First, there have been a lot of comments about what the OP's legal obligations are in this situation based upon individual interpretations of the law. I suspect that most of the people responding are not attorneys and really don't have enough knowledge to give legal advice.

Actual attorneys who might have some expertise are very unlucky to give legal advice. Part of this has to do with ethical obligations. Part of this is that not even we would think we have enough information to give legal advice. In many instances, for example, the legal result of a situation will vary quite a bit depending upon the state that one lives in. People here often seems to think that there is one law in the US and this is quite often wrong. In many, many instances state law is paramount. Even where federal law is involved, a federal court in California and a federal court in, say, Louisiana might interpret the same statute quite differently.

The result is that the vast majority of attorneys are not going to give the OP legal advice based upon the thin factual background presented. I certainly hope that the OP won't rely on legal advice from non-lawyers and will instead get legal advice from a local attorney.

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285799 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:10 PM
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Can you cite the "legal" advice. All I can find are some opinions on how agreements are set up, ways to deal with the current problem and ways to handle these issues in the past. I would hardly call any of this "legal" advice.

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Author: Maraith Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285800 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:16 PM
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I thought that doctors signed an agreement with insurance companies that they will abide by the company's determination of the price for any procedure. If they then charge the patient extra, after receiving the payment from the insurance firm, the patient is not required to pay the difference.

This is, of course, independent of co-pays.

I do realize that this is not the situation of the OP where the issue revolves around the provider failing to file for reimbursement from the insurer. But I think several people have posted that the patient is liable for the bill, whatever it is. I've been told this is not the case and to ignore any extra billing I get AFTER the provider has been paid by the insurer.

Maybe the fact that this is so confusing is the reason we need universal health care where the rules are constant.

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Author: Crosenfield Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285801 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:18 PM
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Legal advice from a local attorney is likely to cost more than the $400 in question!

We would all be agreed that the collection attempt should not be ignored. The doctor's office screwed up and didn't bill the insurance correctly. They were not required to do this service for the patient, but they do so.

OP needs to have a conversation with the doctor's office and also with the insurance company and get this straightened out.

Best wishes, Chris

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285802 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:21 PM
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>>>>Maybe the fact that this is so confusing is the reason we need universal health care where the rules are constant. <<<<


Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.....

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Author: determinedmom Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285803 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:21 PM
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There have been a number of posts that essentially say he has a contract with the provider and therefore owes the money and that the provider's representation that he would submit it to insurance is meaningless and that he had no right to rely on that representation. Essentially the argument is that he owes the money even though the provider was late in submitting the claim. To make this argument is to give a legal opinion. It is essentially saying that there is no legal weight to the provider's representation and that the provider's potential negligence in failing to submit the claim has not meaning.

Now, I am not saying how this ends up working out from a legal standpoint. That is because I lack enough information to be able to give such a legal opinion because this indeed would be a legal opinion. One that I submit that most posters in this thread are not qualified to make. And, if any are qualitifed to make it, they lack the complete information to do so.

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Author: eudaimon6 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285804 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:22 PM
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My stepson had a somewhat minor surgical procedure a few years ago. He was hit in the face with a baseball, his nose was broken, it didn't heal properly and surgery was needed to re-open one of his nostrils. All this happened within a two week period.

So, there was an emergency room visit with xrays. A doctor visit that resulted in a referral. Additional xrays. A surgeon. An anesthesiologist. An operating room. Some pain medication. A follow up with the surgeon and another with his regular physician.

The bulk of it was paid by insurance, but we ended up with six or seven different bills that trickled in over about a four month period. We're fortunate that we had the money to deal with all of our out-of-pocket expenses, but that's not really my point. Every time we thought we were done paying, another bill for another couple hundred bucks showed up.

It is easy to see how a person could find this whole thing upsetting and overwhelming.

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285805 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:26 PM
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Apology accepted.

I didn't make the same assumptions of the OP being a shiftless whiner with low morals nor jump to the same unsupported conclusions you did. I guess that's why my perspective on the issues was different.


Your argument with me was basically that you don't sign such agreements as-is, and that therefor my assumption that the OP probably did so was wrong. Isn't that just as much of an unsupported conclusion as mine is?

We don't have word back from the OP yet as to whether he did or did not sign such an agreement. If he did contractually agree to be responsible for the bill no matter what, and now he's refusing to pay it, will my conclusion be that far off?

xtn

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285806 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:37 PM
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Clients are under no obligation to sign that release as-is...I never sign it without making the necessary changes to the standard form. Every Dr.'s office questions the changes, none has refused service because of them.

Have you ever had to actually see whether a revised release would hold up legally?

It might depend on the laws of your state, but I'm thinking a release is similar to a contract, and if I change I contract I would have to get the other party to agree to the changes, and I can't assume someone just taking a release (like front-office administration) is the same as an acceptance from the doctor or the office manager.

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285807 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:39 PM
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There have been a number of posts that essentially say he has a contract with the provider and therefore owes the money and that the provider's representation that he would submit it to insurance is meaningless and that he had no right to rely on that representation. Essentially the argument is that he owes the money even though the provider was late in submitting the claim. To make this argument is to give a legal opinion.<<<<


Thanks for the clarification. I would humbly disagree. I do not read the comments as legal opinion but moral, what should I do now, and fact of life opinions.

However, I can see your point.

I approach this from the stand point that the OP was asking for what do I do now. Several posters have given their opinions on this matter and provided explanations why they recommend a certain course of action, but this does not necessarily make them "legal" opinions.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285808 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 12:43 PM
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Maybe the fact that this is so confusing is the reason we need universal health care where the rules are constant.

IMO (from things like reading my mom's AARP magazine) people on Medicare don't have it much easier when dealing with medical billing issues.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285810 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 1:15 PM
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<<Actually, I'd pay off the full amount now. It's really owed, and presumably the Doc helped you out when you needed it, and extended you credit. The bill really deserves to be paid in full.

I'm going to take the alternate viewpoint.

Let's say that a doctor performed services valued at $1,000. Your insurance would pay $800 and you pay $200. The services were worth more than $200 to you, so you went ahead and did them.

Now, the doctor's office has failed to follow up on their end to collect the $800. THEY were the ones who dropped the ball, not you. The services they rendered may not have been worth $1,000 to you.

WRJ>>


Nice theory, but the contract signed at the time the services were performed no doubt made it the obligation of the person receiving the services to pay. You can't modify that contract after the fact because it no longer appeals to you.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285811 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 1:16 PM
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I've been told this is not the case and to ignore any extra billing I get AFTER the provider has been paid by the insurer.

This is not great advice. It is better to resolve the problem immediately that several years later. So far, I have been able to resolve these problems with sending a copy of the benefit statement from the insurance company requesting that the appropriate amount be written off. It can be difficult to completely understand this years insurance payments, bills, and adjustments.

Debra

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Author: determinedmom Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285812 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 1:34 PM
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Nice theory, but the contract signed at the time the services were performed no doubt made it the obligation of the person receiving the services to pay. You can't modify that contract after the fact because it no longer appeals to you.


OK, let's not talk about the OP's situation since I don't know enough specifics about it.

The problem I have with your scenario is that it only considers one side of the obligation. Let's say that you tell me you will bill my insurer for me (in fact, you insist on it). You tell me you will contact my insurer to get pre-approval and to make certain you are on the list of approved providers. You will get any necessary pre-authorizations. I rely on your representations and as a result I sign and say that if my insurer then doesn't pay that I will pay.

I have a real problem with someone looking only at the phrase "I sign and say that if my insurer then doesn't pay that I will pay" and who ignore the fact that I was induced to do so by you saying that you will do X. In that situation, I might very well argue that I am not obligated to pay when you didn't do the X that you promised to do and which induced me to sign. [Note that I have still not said whether I have a legal leg to stand on in that situation. Whether I do or not depends upon some fairly complex issues of fact and law that I haven't gone into detail on.]

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285814 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 1:53 PM
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<<Nice theory, but the contract signed at the time the services were performed no doubt made it the obligation of the person receiving the services to pay. You can't modify that contract after the fact because it no longer appeals to you.


OK, let's not talk about the OP's situation since I don't know enough specifics about it.

The problem I have with your scenario is that it only considers one side of the obligation. Let's say that you tell me you will bill my insurer for me (in fact, you insist on it). You tell me you will contact my insurer to get pre-approval and to make certain you are on the list of approved providers. You will get any necessary pre-authorizations. I rely on your representations and as a result I sign and say that if my insurer then doesn't pay that I will pay.
>>


Doctor's lawyers write up those contracts. I think it's unlikely that they are going to put the doctor on the hook for a billing error, don't you think?

And there's no real reason to suppose that the doctor's office didn't send a bill to the insurance company, either. They might very well have done so and it might have gone astray, been deemed in a form the insurance company didn't like or whatever.

The one thing you CAN depend on, I would suppose, is that the doctor's lawyer is going to hold the patient liable for paying the bill if the insurance company does not for any reason. That's just common sense, in my view.

For good or ill, patients have a responsibility to check up on such things. I've been burned by not doing that as well, although I was lucky enough to be able to get the doctor and insurance company to do what they were supposed to after the fact.

Of course if the doctor's contract actually does make the doctor legally liable for submitting the bill in a timely way and a form that the insurance company will pay, then your point would be well taken. But I consider that very unlikely.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285815 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 2:09 PM
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<<Actual attorneys who might have some expertise are very unlucky to give legal advice. Part of this has to do with ethical obligations. Part of this is that not even we would think we have enough information to give legal advice. In many instances, for example, the legal result of a situation will vary quite a bit depending upon the state that one lives in. People here often seems to think that there is one law in the US and this is quite often wrong. In many, many instances state law is paramount. Even where federal law is involved, a federal court in California and a federal court in, say, Louisiana might interpret the same statute quite differently.

The result is that the vast majority of attorneys are not going to give the OP legal advice based upon the thin factual background presented. I certainly hope that the OP won't rely on legal advice from non-lawyers and will instead get legal advice from a local attorney.
>>


Your point is well taken, DetrminedMom, although it begs the question of whether you are an attorney? Should we accept your unqualified legal advice about ignoring the legal advice given by other non lawyers?

Seattle Pioneer

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285817 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 4:36 PM
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Thoughts? Do I have a leg to stand on? Do you think I'll be sued?

My thought is that you agreed to receiving service and to not make good on that obligation isn't very ethical. Here's a question: can you pay the bill, then submit it to the insurance company yourself? Or is it too late for that?

I would definitely check with the hospital in question and find out exactly when they submitted the bill for payment. If they actually did submit it in a timely fashion and you can prove it, then you might be able to get the insurance company to pay it anyway. One thing to remember is that insurance company reps are trained to say "No" first. It takes persistence to get them to say "yes", but it can be done if you act in a civil matter, politely work your way up the chain and don't burn any bridges while you're at it. If after all the haggling with the insurance company, they still refuse to pay." Then pay the amount in full. The money is owed to the doctor, the doctor treated you in good faith expecting to be paid. Offering him 20% of what he charged is not acceptable.

Put another way: how would you feel if you were late turning your time in for your job and your boss said "Well, since you didn't turn it in on time, I'm only going to offer you 20%?

LWW

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Author: PreserveCapital Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285819 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 5:37 PM
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Don't listen to all the internet lawyers, they're worse than jailhouse lawyers.

Collections outfits dun people for bogus claims all the time.

Send them a certified letter denying the claim in its entirety, advise them to cease and desist any further communications with you, and invoke the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Tell them you will sue them for statutory damages if they continue to harass you.

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Author: wasmick Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285820 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 5:52 PM
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Your argument with me was basically that you don't sign such agreements as-is, and that therefor my assumption that the OP probably did so was wrong. Isn't that just as much of an unsupported conclusion as mine is?


Um, no. That wasn't my argument. My reply was simply to point out to you that it's possible to get medical care without signing that document, or by modifying it. A possibility that your original post completely omits.

Of course, your post needed to omit this otherwise you wouldn't have been able to set up your screed which again - at the time of your original rant - you have zero facts to support. Here are your words:

An interesting example of how our society has become a bunch of entitlement whiners with low morals.

The way it ACTUALLY works is like this:

The only obligations to be found in this situation are YOUR obligation to pay the doctor, and possibly you're insurance company's obligation to pay you a percentage of it depending on their contract with you.

You can't morally refuse to pay what you agreed to be responsible for, and justify it on the fact that favor-on-the-side didn't work out. This is what I mean by entitlement. It's become so customary for doctors to provide this service that we think it's owed to us. It's still a favor no matter how customary it has become.



These are declarative statements; nowhere in there do you allow for the possibility that other arrangements may have been made.


We don't have word back from the OP yet as to whether he did or did not sign such an agreement. If he did contractually agree to be responsible for the bill no matter what, and now he's refusing to pay it, will my conclusion be that far off?

It depends. We still may not have enough information to draw that conclusion.

Look, I already accepted your apology. What more do you want here?

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Author: wasmick Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285821 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 6:01 PM
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Have you ever had to actually see whether a revised release would hold up legally?

Nope.


It might depend on the laws of your state, but I'm thinking a release is similar to a contract, and if I change I contract I would have to get the other party to agree to the changes, and I can't assume someone just taking a release (like front-office administration) is the same as an acceptance from the doctor or the office manager.

I wouldn't know. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't but I wouldn't presume to argue it myself; I'd hire a lawyer if/when it came to that. The lawyer would then tell me whether it was worth anything or not.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285822 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 6:11 PM
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<<You can't morally refuse to pay what you agreed to be responsible for, and justify it on the fact that favor-on-the-side didn't work out. This is what I mean by entitlement. It's become so customary for doctors to provide this service that we think it's owed to us. It's still a favor no matter how customary it has become.


These are declarative statements; nowhere in there do you allow for the possibility that other arrangements may have been made.

>>


Generally speaking it's always possible to modify a contract someone offers to you. Handwritten modifications made on the face of the contract will generally modify the printed terms of the agreement.

But there is no reason to suppose that was done in this case.

Just guessing here, but if you were to offer such changes to a hospital admissions clerk, they and their boss would probably just say "No, thanks."

THEY have no obligation to accept modifications to the contract, and I'd guess they are trained to reject such proposals.

I know the last time I went in to an ER with a lot of pain from a kidney stone, I wasn't interested in negotiating changes to the admissions contract.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: KingHugh Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285823 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 7:49 PM
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Wow!! I didn't expect this to generate such a heated debate!

Thanks to everybody for the thoughts, I really appreciate it.

The deal is that my wife was transported from one hospital to another via ambulance, and was heavily medicated when admitted. She doesn't recall if she signed anything when she arrived or not, and I wasn't there, so I certainly didn't sign anything.

The insurance company is who has reported that the claims were denied for late filing, and it is too late now for me to pay and file to be reimbursed.

I haven't offered the Dr 20%, I've offered the collection agency 20%, who probably bought this debt for pennies on the dollar. For all I know them getting 20% would be a profit.

The Dr on the bill they sent me indicated that they were billing my insurance company, if they hadn't told me that I would have done it myself. I didn't ask them too, they offered, and then failed to do what they offered. That's why I feel justified in refusing to pay full fare.

I think I will call the Dr. directly and offer a settlement, just to get rid of this issue....but I don't want to pay the full price, just on principle.

And BTW...while I appreciate the comments, I don't considern myself a whiner. I work for a living and pay my way...I just expect others to do what they say they will.

Thanks again;

Darrin

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Author: foolinchicago Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285824 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 8:17 PM
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I don't know if I could disagree more.

The physician provided a service that the OP agreed to pay for. Then he didn't pay.

People cry and moan about Healthcare costs...people ditching out on the bill they agreed to pay certainly doesn't help.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285825 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 8:37 PM
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<<The deal is that my wife was transported from one hospital to another via ambulance, and was heavily medicated when admitted. She doesn't recall if she signed anything when she arrived or not, and I wasn't there, so I certainly didn't sign anything.
>>


It probably doesn't eally matter whether she specifically agreed to pay for it or not. If you accept a service, the general legal pronciple is that you should expect to pay for it.

<<The Dr on the bill they sent me indicated that they were billing my insurance company, if they hadn't told me that I would have done it myself. I didn't ask them too, they offered, and then failed to do what they offered. That's why I feel justified in refusing to pay full fare.
>>


Well, fine. But the obligation to pay was yours. It doesn't get transferred to the doctor because they said they'd send a bill to your insurance company.

YOU probably should have checked to see that it was paid.

I don't think you are whining, I just think your are mistaken in your theory that the doctor became liable for billing your insurance company.

It's not likely that the issue would be settled by a judge, though. Probably it would appear as a negative mark on your credit report one way or another if you refuse to pay or settle for less than the amount owed.

It's possible you could contest a negative credit report entry and that you might get it removed by challenging it. I wouldn't bank on it, though.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: determinedmom Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285826 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 9:05 PM
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Your point is well taken, DetrminedMom, although it begs the question of whether you are an attorney? Should we accept your unqualified legal advice about ignoring the legal advice given by other non lawyers?


I think I've posted before that I am indeed an attorney. In fact, I've been a practicing litigator for the past 30 years.

Of course, like most attorneys, I don't know all areas of the law. So, on some topics that get posted about here, I just know enough to know what I don't know. On other topics, I actually do know quite a lot.

However, even then, I know what I don't know. I usually don't know what state a poster is located in. When I do, it is rarely the state in which I practice so while I might know a lot about my state's law I can't assume that another state's law is the same.

These are not mere minor differences. One state might say that certain agreements must be in writing, another state will say they don't have to be. And so on. It is very literally the case that a case can turn out one way in State A and just the opposite in state B.


Many, many times I see posts on these boards that say that a person is obligated to do X or isn't obligated to do Y. I am bemused at how fearless some are at making absolute statements of whether a contract is enforceable, etc. given the lack of information and often about subjects where the person posting is just guessing. If people want to do that, I guess they can. I just hope people don't rely on that rather than getting actual legal advice from someone who actually knows the law.

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Author: idlenote One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285827 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 9:13 PM
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We go through this every three months when DW has her follow up visits. Every bill except one is paid on time. This one vendor will not file under the correct coding number, and the bills consistently get kicked back.

I have called them repeatedly about this, I have gone through the bills with them and explained how they need to do this. Last time, they told me "that's OK we'll just write the bill off". I told them that was a ridiculous position to take.

DW finally went over there and sat down with the Office Manager, explained it to her, bill got coded correctly and the bill went through.

Three months later - we're back in the same position again, Latest bill is kicked back by the insurance company due to incorrect coding.

Cannot understand the thinking behind this.

Jim

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Author: Maraith Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285829 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/9/2009 11:51 PM
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Without knowing the specifics, I asked a friend who works for a health insurance company about this kind of situation.

He said when the doctor agrees to take payments from the insurance company he/she signs a contract that includes this very point. He agrees to bill the insurance company within such and such a time and that this cannot be paid by the patient or the insurance company without the provider doing his/her paperwork.

If the provider screwed up,(s)he violated the contract and must abide by the rules...which usually say that (s)he forfeits the fee. The provider cannot then go after the patient.

My friend suggested the OP contact his insurance company and ask exactly about this situation.

Whether this is true in all states and all insurance companies, I don't know. I offer it as anecdotal evidence that there may be a legitimate and fair option for the poster.

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Author: saydiver Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285831 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/10/2009 2:01 AM
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According to the OP the provider was not participating so there's no contract with the insurance company. In out of network situations, the patient is not only responsible for the coinsurance percentage, but usually is also responsible for the difference between the billed amount and the allowed/UCR amount. I said usually because there's always some contract with an exception.

Every Drs office I've dealt with in several years has required you to fill out a medical history, sign a HIPAA statement and also a statement about being responsible for the bill. Some out of network providers will file your claims as a courtesy, but the patient is ultimately responsible for paying the provider, whether in network or out of network.

In response to an earlier statement about all claims being denied, I can't speak for all insurance companies, but I'll go on record saying I processed/reviewed medical insurance claims for fourteen years and was never told to deny claims, just because the insurance company didn't want to pay.

Sue

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285832 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/10/2009 4:14 AM
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<<He said when the doctor agrees to take payments from the insurance company he/she signs a contract that includes this very point. He agrees to bill the insurance company within such and such a time and that this cannot be paid by the patient or the insurance company without the provider doing his/her paperwork.

>>


The provider in question was not in with the insurance company of the OP and so would have had no such obligation.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: dswing Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285833 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/10/2009 11:20 AM
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>>>>Maybe the fact that this is so confusing is the reason we need universal health care where the rules are constant. <<<<


Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.....



Indeed, because we all know the government systems are always *constant* er, or *consistent* ... ?

Like for example how my wife spent the month of January trying to prove to the unemployment office that she was a US Citizen so that her benefits could be extended (you know, even though she was born in the US 40 years ago, and had already been collecting unemployment for a year ... WTF?! )

~dswing

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Author: dswing Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285834 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/10/2009 11:36 AM
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Hi Darrin,

The Dr on the bill they sent me indicated that they were billing my insurance company, if they hadn't told me that I would have done it myself. I didn't ask them too, they offered, and then failed to do what they offered. That's why I feel justified in refusing to pay full fare.

I don't know if you saw my post buried earlier in this thread, but I felt the same way in a similar situation. But my advice (which is what I should have done sooner in my own case) is to put your feelings aside about pride, justification, and whatnot. Your only goal is to get this debt settled and off your credit history.

I think I will call the Dr. directly and offer a settlement, just to get rid of this issue....but I don't want to pay the full price, just on principle.

You're lucky you A) know who to talk to and B) have someone who will listen. That's half the battle. Call the Dr. and talk it out, and for your own benefit GET A WRITTEN STATEMENT from the doctor saying the debt is satisfied, and that they will remove the item from collections. Just pay the full amount due, plus penalties, if necessary. Keep photocopies of said statement, a receipt, and your check, for future reference.

Then once you are out of collections, you can try to pursue reimbursement from the insurance company. Half expect that that effort might fail.

Last, be glad this is over a few hundred dollars, and not many thousands.

Good luck,

~dswing

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285835 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/10/2009 2:16 PM
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He said when the doctor agrees to take payments from the insurance company he/she signs a contract that includes this very point.

I believe, the doctor was out of plan and therefore would not have signed a contract with the insurance company.

Debra

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285874 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/11/2009 2:35 PM
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Look, I already accepted your apology. What more do you want here?

I want to just jump to some conclusions without being told the I lack supporting evidence dangit!

You're right. I did do what you say I did. Although I think probability favors my conclusions even though they are so far unsupportable in this particular case.

xtn

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Author: KingHugh Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285880 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/11/2009 8:13 PM
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Thanks again everybody....I'm going to try to call the Dr tomorrow AM. I want to be fair...I don't like it....because I feel like I'm getting the short end of the stick...but if I plug my nose and write the check quickly maybe it won't hurt so bad....

Thank you again, all of you who took the time to help me out!

Darrin

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Author: joycets Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285889 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/11/2009 11:40 PM
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I'm willing to bet there's a good chance that the ball was dropped in this---or at least many other---cases because of the revolving door of the office employees. LIke, that was handled before I got here or (alternately) so and so was going to handle it & then lost her/his job & the next person didn't know what to do.

Things get way too complicated in this modern world.

joycets

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Author: joycets Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 285891 of 308452
Subject: Re: Medical Bill Date: 3/11/2009 11:48 PM
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Unfortunately, all of this has reminded me that there was a *mysterious* medical bill I owed on a credit report I got sometime last month that I forgot to ask about to the credit report issuer.

And now that I am out of town till 4-1 there is NOT a chance I 'm going to see it till some time in April.
I bet it is very similar to the case that started this thread but I don't recall details so FOR THE TIME BEING I th ink I WILL ignore it!

joycets

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