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Medical Bill Dispute 11-30-2012


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On November 30, 2012, I had xrays done on my hand. There was a big issue at the Xray place and still till this day the doctors can't find my xrays.

 

On January 10, 2013 I received a letter from the Xray place telling me I owed $41.19 (the amount the insurance didn't cover). On January 14th, I wrote the medical place a dispute letter as follows:

 

 

To
Whom It May Concern,



This
letter is being sent by USPS Certified Mail, tag number ##########3

 

This
letter is in response to your bill dated January 4, 2013 (received January 11,
2013) for the x-ray office visit of November 30, 2012. I am writing this letter
to inform you that I am disputing this bill. The reason I’m disputing this bill
is simple: The x-rays have yet to be found by my doctor’s office and therefore
don’t exist.

Since
day one, being November 30, 2012, I have had problems with your company. I was
seen by Doctor Tolentino, at your Claremont office, about my right hand who
then sent me across the hall for x-rays at 1150am. The x-rays were marked as
stat so that I would have the results that day.

After
signing in at the front desk for x-rays, I gave the lady at the window, which
would later identify herself as Maria the office manager, my driver’s license
and my health insurance card. About five minutes later, Maria called me up and
told me that I didn’t have insurance. I told her I did have insurance. She told
me that I didn’t have insurance and that she couldn’t help me. She went on to
tell me that I had to come back next week, the week of December 3, 2012, when I
had insurance. I told Maria; “No. I’m not coming back. I’m here now and I have
insurance. Call them.” She told me that she wasn’t going to call them. I pulled
out my cell phone and called Aetna, my insurance provider.

Tina
answered my call from Aetna. I told Tina what was going on. She told me that I
do have insurance; my insurance was good, that she would fax over the
documentation to the x-ray office and also she would speak to the office
manager. So, I passed my cell phone over to Maria. When Maria was done speaking
to Tina, she gave me back the phone. The phone line was still active.

Maria
told me that Tina said I was not covered under any insurance, that Tina was
refusing to cooperate and that Tina would not fax over any documentation to
back up my story. I put my phone back up to my ear and spoke to Tina. Tina
said; “I heard what Maria was saying and she’s lying. I offered to fax over
documentation that you do have insurance and that you are covered. Maria
declined it.” While I was finishing up my conversation with Tina, Maria was on
the office phone. As I hung up my cell phone, Maria passed me the office phone
and said that her supervisor wanted to speak to me. I took the phone from her
and spoke to a gentleman that identified himself as Steven.

I spoke to Steven and began telling him the issues that I was having with Maria.
I told him that Maria refused to call my insurance to verify whether or not I
was covered because I was lying to her. I continued to tell him that Tina from
Aetna verified that I did have insurance, that it was in good standing and that
she would even fax Maria documentation to prove it. Unfortunately, Maria
declined to have Aetna fax her anything. Steven answered with “Maria said she
asked Aetna but that they refused.” I told him that was not true. Aetna did
offer but Maria said no.

Steven told me that he would make an exception for me. He would need me to fill out a
form saying that if they bill Aetna and it comes back as “no coverage”, that I
would be responsible to pay the entire x-ray bill. I agreed to it. With that he
asked me to pass the phone back to Maria.

After all this, I waited about forty more minutes before I was presented with the
form to sign. Upon signing the form, I was taken back to have the x-rays taken,
which took no more than a minute.

Now we come to Monday December 3, 2012. I called the Claremont office to see if my
x-rays were in yet. I was told no, that there was no info on the x-rays. I was
told to make a follow-up appointment which I did.

December 5, 2012 I go to see Doctor Styles. After a long wait, I was finally called back
to see him. He remained in the room for less than a minute. I was told that
there were no x-rays for me. After saying that, he left the room and didn’t
come back in. Since December 6, 2012, including my call on December 3, 2012, I
have called 13 times to check on the status of my x-rays. Each time I call, I’m
told that they haven’t seen them or that no one can locate them.
As I stated in my first paragraph, I dispute your bill for $41.19, and I refuse to
pay because apparently my x-rays were lost or they don’t exist. It has been
over a month and a half and still no x-rays. My right hand is still swollen and
I can’t move it. Unless there is proof that these x-rays were in fact taken, I
am not paying. To borrow the words from your billing statement: Proof “is
expected within 5 days” that the x-rays do exist. If I don’t have proof in my
hands, proof can be x-ray films or a copy of the x-rays on a cd, at the end of
the fifth day (January 21, 2013), which is five days after this certified
letter has been delivered to you, I will call Aetna, advise them of this
dispute, forward them a copy of this letter, and tell them to put a stop
payment on whatever amount they paid you for the x-rays, as they don’t exist. In
addition, at no time will this billing amount be placed on my credit report or
sent to a collection agency for failure to pay if proof of the x-rays are not
sent to me within the five days specified. If you can provide proof within five
days of this letter being delivered to you, postmark from the post office does
not count, then I will be willing to pay half of the $41.19 since the x-rays
have been missing for almost two months.

 

Respectfully,


I didn't sign it.

 

They received it on January 16, 2013. I have never heard back from them until today, with another bill for the amount of $41.19. They say that : Our records indicate that we have not heard from you and we have not yet received payment of $41.19. Your account has reached a past due status. Please remit your payment within the next 20 days.

 

What should I send them now? Since I did dispute it and I have proof they did receive my initial dispute, is this a violation of collection law?



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I wouldn't waste any time complaining to Aetna! They will get after this crooked place on your behalf! These thieves can't collect for a service never rendered! Moreover, your health has suffered as a result of their incompetence! A "stat" same-day x-ray has you waiting MONTHS later! What treatment could you have received if your caregiver had gotten the x-rays on time?! What would you have been able to do with your hand by now?? Perhaps it has healed in some undesirable way due to having to wait this long. Have you thought about contacting a malpractice attorney?

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You are asking for advice in a credit forum. We deal with issues regarding medical debt, not incorrect billing or malpractice. Since your insurance paid their part and you were billed the $41. you are obligated to pay it.

 

If you wish to file a complaint against the facility with your State medical board, or other consumer protection agency regarding their losing the x-rays ( by the way, how do you KNOW that your Dr.'s office didn't lose or misfile them??) that is your privilege, however, if you don't pay the $41. it will wind up on your credit reports and cause you a LOT more problems than the inconvenience and worry that you have gone through. Additionally, the cost and time of trying to get it deleted from your reports will likely be much more than you bargain for and you will wind up paying it anyway.

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