I've read through the WHY CHAT HIPAA guide, and my situation falls outside what is described there.
The short version is:
I have an ongoing billing dispute with a medical provider and insurer; I owe them something, but not as much as they're asking for. I left the balance unpaid because the provider said it would not be referred to a CA while going through the dispute resolution process with the insurer. However, the provider (a large medical group) unexpectedly referred the unpaid balance to a CA.
Yesterday I became aware of the referral to collections from the online records system of the provider. I called the billing office immediately to inquire and they said they could still accept a payment and recall the collection action -- so I paid the outstanding balance with a credit card. I have a ledger from the provider showing the payment and a zero balance.
Between the time of referral to the CA and my payment to the OC, the CA did mail me a letter stating they wanted to collect the debt for the date of service in question. I received the letter today, and that's the first time I came to creditboards to see what to do. No collection action has been reported to the CRAs (yet.)
My question is: how should I proceed?
Ultimately I would like the collection action purged from the records of the CA and for this never to hit the CRAs.
I feel like I need to take some defensive action (a debt validation letter?) with the CA, in case the OC doesn't follow through with their withdrawal of the collection referral. I would think that if I sent the validation letter, the CA could not actually validate the debt since the OC would have to now show them a zero balance -- but I feel like this could also create records with the CA that could come back to bite me in the future.
Your guidance here is appreciated, thanks!