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HIPAA step 2?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 deemac

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Ok... so I filed a dispute with all 3 CRAs.

I received a validation letter today from the CA. It states that they have verified with the OC that the info in their files is correct. It goes on to say that if I require a more detailed itemization that it may include personal health information and they require a signed release to obtain those records.

I'm not going to return that, as obviously that would remove the HIPAA privacy privilege that makes this whole thing work, but is this typical?

Should I go ahead and proceed with sending a letter with full payment to the OC?. (Also, the only way I can pay the full amount is to use a check written on my HSA account - I hope that won't backfire?)



#2 Why Chat

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:24 AM

Ok... so I filed a dispute with all 3 CRAs.

I received a validation letter today from the CA. It states that they have verified with the OC that the info in their files is correct. It goes on to say that if I require a more detailed itemization that it may include personal health information and they require a signed release to obtain those records. If they were in a CURRENT business relationship with the OC they would NOT need your signature as the HIPAA waiver you signed at the OC would cover their communication to you

I'm not going to return that, as obviously that would remove the HIPAA privacy privilege that makes this whole thing work, but is this typical?

Should I go ahead and proceed with sending a letter with full payment to the OC?. (Also, the only way I can pay the full amount is to use a check written on my HSA account - I hope that won't backfire?)

I do not see any prior posts from you on this subject.

How old is the account?? ( date of service)

Did you have any insurance??

Is this from a hospital??

An HSA account check MAY work if you are SURE it will be paid, and if the restrictive endorsement is printed on the back.

However, given the CA response, I doubt very much that they are in a current business relationship with the OC.
Are they reporting on ALL of your reports?? What was the response from the CRAs to your initial dispute letter??

Did you opt out and delete old addresses before disputing??

#3 deemac

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:33 AM


Ok... so I filed a dispute with all 3 CRAs.

I received a validation letter today from the CA. It states that they have verified with the OC that the info in their files is correct. It goes on to say that if I require a more detailed itemization that it may include personal health information and they require a signed release to obtain those records. If they were in a CURRENT business relationship with the OC they would NOT need your signature as the HIPAA waiver you signed at the OC would cover their communication to you

I'm not going to return that, as obviously that would remove the HIPAA privacy privilege that makes this whole thing work, but is this typical?

Should I go ahead and proceed with sending a letter with full payment to the OC?. (Also, the only way I can pay the full amount is to use a check written on my HSA account - I hope that won't backfire?)

I do not see any prior posts from you on this subject. No, I've been on CB for quite some time. This is the first medical entry I've had and I thought I understood your process well enough from reading the boards, but the letter I received from the CA threw me a bit.

How old is the account?? ( date of service) less than 2 years old; unfortunately at this point the only thing SOL is me :)

Did you have any insurance?? NO

Is this from a hospital?? It was from an urgent care visit. Bill is from a physician billing service that handles a large number of hospital affiliated practices in the area. (An ER trip followed but the hospital waived their portion of the bill. There is actually a much larger doctors' bill out there in collection from the same event as their income limit for charity service was much higher, but that is with NCO and is not reported anywhere so I'm happy to let that dog rest for the time being. FYI DH had just recently started a job after being out of work for 9 months.)

An HSA account check MAY work if you are SURE it will be paid, and if the restrictive endorsement is printed on the back. No issue with it being paid. It's my account, funded through my employer as part of my current high deductible medical plan. I have both checks and a debit visa on the account, and a sufficient balance to pay this which is why I started the process.

However, given the CA response, I doubt very much that they are in a current business relationship with the OC.

Are they reporting on ALL of your reports?? What was the response from the CRAs to your initial dispute letter?? Yes, they are on all three reports, and updating routinely.
I have not yet received a reply from the CRAs. Instead I received the aforementioned letter from the CA, even though I have not contacted them directly. (I assume based on the letter that I will shortly be hearing from the CRAs that the CA has confirmed the information is correct.)


Did you opt out and delete old addresses before disputing?? Yes. Experian has refused to remove one outdated address, but unfortunately that's irrelevant anyway because this debt was incurred after we moved to our current location. I did a lot of work cleaning up our reports a few years ago and check them periodically.



Here's the entry from Experian:

FIRST FEDERAL CREDIT CONTROL
Address:
XXXXXXXX
CLEVELAND, OH 44122
XXXXXXXX
Account Number:
XXXXXXXXX
Original Creditor:
XXXXXXXXXXX
Address Identification Number:
XXXXXXXXXXXX
Status: Collection account. $278 past due as of Jan 2012. Status Details: This account is scheduled to continue on
record until Mar 2017.
Date Opened:
11/2010
Reported Since:
12/2010
Date of Status:
01/2011
Last Reported:
01/2012
Type:
Collection
Terms:
1 Months
Monthly Payment:
$0
Responsibility:
Individual
Credit Limit/Original Amount:
$278
High Balance:
NA
Recent Balance:
$278 as of 01/2012
Recent Payment:
$0
Account History:
Collection as of Jan 2012, Nov 2011, Mar 2011 to Oct 2011, Jan
2011, Dec 2010

#4 Why Chat

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:32 PM

OK, wait until you have the response from the CRAs before paying the OC with insert "a".

You should be aware that you MAY awaken NCO on the larger bill especially if they are the primary CA assigned from the OC.

I should warn you that I do NOT believe the reporting CA on the account that you will be paying may be in a current business relationship with the OC, are you SURE that the letter you received from them was in response to your dispute to the CRAs?? If you had sent anything prior to THIS CA and they were responding to THAT, then DO NOT pay the OC with the HIPAA letter as you have NO proof of a current connection and your payment will have NO effect on your reports.

#5 deemac

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:46 PM

OK, wait until you have the response from the CRAs before paying the OC with insert "a".

You should be aware that you MAY awaken NCO on the larger bill especially if they are the primary CA assigned from the OC.

I should warn you that I do NOT believe the reporting CA on the account that you will be paying may be in a current business relationship with the OC, are you SURE that the letter you received from them was in response to your dispute to the CRAs?? If you had sent anything prior to THIS CA and they were responding to THAT, then DO NOT pay the OC with the HIPAA letter as you have NO proof of a current connection and your payment will have NO effect on your reports.



I have not contacted the CA at all, neither have I spoken with them verbally. I mailed all three dispute letters to the CRAs about 2 weeks ago. Yesterday I received the letter from the CA which begins: "Per your request we have verified your debt xxx for xxx with the following creditor..xxx(OC address here)xxx.... They have informed us that the information contained in our files is accurate. If you require a more detailed itemization of charges, please be advised that your itemization may include personal health information and we require a signed release to obtain those records. Please complete the release below and fax it to our office a the number above"

The next section, if signed, "authorizes the OC to release any and all information pertaining to the treatment referenced by CA as the medical provider, in its sole discretion, may deem fit."


#6 deemac

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

Should I send a letter to the OC and ask THEM to verify the relationship with the CA?

#7 Why Chat

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:28 PM

Should I send a letter to the OC and ask THEM to verify the relationship with the CA?

No, as long as the response from the CA was instigated by the dispute to the CRA that is sufficient documentation. Pay with the HIPAA letter insert "a".

#8 deemac

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

ok... thanks, whychat.

I'll go ahead and send the payment, and hope it goes smoothly.

I'm also hoping by having it removed completely and not showing "paid", that it won't catch the attention of NCO. I think at this point that if the NCO account isn't reporting that it's unlikely to start, unless they transfer it to someone else. That bill was for the doctor portion of the ER visit and I attempted to get it waived for low income. Because DH had actually been working for a month or two at the time of service that didn't work, but the documentation I did send showed a pretty low income level, that would likely/hopefully discourage them from pursuing it very aggressively.

#9 Why Chat

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:37 AM

ok... thanks, whychat.

I'll go ahead and send the payment, and hope it goes smoothly.

I'm also hoping by having it removed completely and not showing "paid", that it won't catch the attention of NCO. I think at this point that if the NCO account isn't reporting that it's unlikely to start, unless they transfer it to someone else. That bill was for the doctor portion of the ER visit and I attempted to get it waived for low income. Because DH had actually been working for a month or two at the time of service that didn't work, but the documentation I did send showed a pretty low income level, that would likely/hopefully discourage them from pursuing it very aggressively.

Double check with the program that paid for the hospital ER bill and see if the Dr's bill was included, it is very unusual for an ER bill paid by ANY insurance to NOT include ALL ER charges.

#10 deemac

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

There was no insurance; I filed a request to have the bill waived by the hospital and they did. The doctors' billing that was separate from the hospital used a different income cut off and since my husband had recently started working, they said we didn't qualify.

I have a fresh question though. I've heard back from the CRAs. TU actually deleted, but the other two said verified. So I'm now ready to send payment. However, the (original) billing is through an out-of-state hospital billing service. Should I still address it to the hipaa officer?

#11 Why Chat

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:03 AM

There was no insurance; I filed a request to have the bill waived by the hospital and they did. The doctors' billing that was separate from the hospital used a different income cut off and since my husband had recently started working, they said we didn't qualify.

I have a fresh question though. I've heard back from the CRAs. TU actually deleted, but the other two said verified. So I'm now ready to send payment. However, the (original) billing is through an out-of-state hospital billing service. Should I still address it to the hipaa officer?

You send any payment with the HIPAA letter to the OC, ( health care provider) NOT to their "billing department"

Since TU deleted, I suggest you wait until you receive something in writing from the reporting CA.

This next step requires you to send this to the CA, ( 1 for Eq and 1 for Ex in the same envelope)
http://www.whychat.5...cavalhipaa.html

Wait 10 days, if you do NOT get a response FROM THE CA, send each CRA, ( Eq and Ex) this:

http://www.whychat.5...aa.html#DISPUTE

If you DO get a response from the CA, you can THEN pay the OC ( AT THEIR PLACE OF BUSINESS) with the HIPAA letter insert "a"

#12 delphipgmr

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:15 AM

I am still waiting for responses on mine, but i was also curious about this issue as well as i think i will have it too.

both of our area hospitals (HCA owned hospitals) uses a 3rd party billing company (NPAS) to handle all their bills. they do not appear on a credit report, if you don't pay, they send to others (Maf, NCO). If you do pay them, you make the check out to the hospital, but send it to them.

this is legit... it is not a collection agency, its just how they do it right from day 1, if you don't pay, they send it to collections.

so what department would you send insert A to since they apparently don't have a billing dept in the hospital? Hipaa compliance officer?

#13 deemac

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:48 PM

I actually got a letter from the CA before I got responses from the CRAs. It states that they have verified with the OC that the info in their files is correct. It goes on to say that if I require a more detailed itemization that it may include personal health information and they require a signed release to obtain those records.

#14 Why Chat

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

I actually got a letter from the CA before I got responses from the CRAs. It states that they have verified with the OC that the info in their files is correct. It goes on to say that if I require a more detailed itemization that it may include personal health information and they require a signed release to obtain those records.

That means they are NOT a current business associate of the OC.

As to sending letters to an OC, they should be addressed to the HIPAA Compliance office of the PHYSICAL ADDRESS of the OC, NOT to any "billing office"

#15 deemac

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:49 AM

so, given the above, at this point should I go ahead and pay the OC, with the appropriate letter to the HIPAA compliance officer at the hospital itself? Or, should I first send the COLLECTION AGENCY VALIDATION/DISPUTE/CEASE AND DESIST letter? I don't want to send them anything that could be construed as a signed release.

#16 deemac

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:04 AM

Whychat, just wanted to say "thanks" and provide an update. I ended up using my HSA check and put the deposit restriction on the back. Since the only billing address I had was the out of state service, I sent it there. I also sent the follow up letter there, which I know is contrary to what you advised, but I wasn't sure who else to send it to that would be sure to have contact with billing and collections and decided to give it a shot. My efforts were met with rapid success. The entry has been removed from the both CRAs that were still reporting it, and it happened within days of their receipt of my letter.




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