Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
ih8theER

4-year-old ER bill in collections

Recommended Posts

I'll try and keep this short and to the point, but THANK YOU for the amazing help that is provided here. 

 

I have a 4-year-old bill (FLORIDA) that has been sent to one of those "lawyer" collection agencies. 

 

I sent the initial dispute as recommended by WHYCHAT and got a response quickly with a photocopy of my bill from the hospital for my minor daughter. I was surprised they were able to share this with the CA

 

I'm not sure of the next step, maybe I'm overcomplicating it. 

 

I did long ago request financial assistance from the hospital, a not for profit. I believed I fell within their guidelines of qualifying for assistance. Initially, they denied my request with no reason given but said I could re-apply at any time. I re-applied and never got a response. 

 

About a year later I received my first collections notice. I disputed it and simply said I had a valid request for financial assistance and never heard from that creditor again.

 

One year later (current) I get a new letter from this "lawyer" CA

 

So this is where I sit.

 

Do I ignore the request for financial assistance that was never acknowledged by the hospital? 

Should I be concerned that my minor daughter's medical records were sent directly to the CA?

 

Any advice on next steps would be GREATLY appreciated. 

 

P.S. - I do not know if my CRAs have been notified by this CA. My credit is frozen and I have not thawed it yet to check. I certainly can if that is an important step. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Crediboards!

We hope that you find what you're looking for here.

Some helpful tips:

  • Your post may not get a reply right away. Don't be discouraged, this is a very busy board. If it falls off of the first page, feel free to reply to your post yourself, with the word *bump* in the text. This will *bump* your post back up to the top of the board.
  • If you haven't yet, take a peek at out Newbies Section. Everything that you need to know is in that forum, for the most part. It's a lot of reading, we know, but this credit stuff can have a steep learning curve. In no time, you'll be posting like the pros!
  • If you find that someone is discourteous to you, use the REPORT button at the bottom of every post - that will ensure that a moderator or admin looks at the post and decides if it is against the TOS.
  • Off -topic posts should go in the General Forum.

 

Again, welcome to the CreditBoards family!

CB Admin: LKH, Pam, radi8, breeze & MarvBear

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ih8theER said:

I did long ago request financial assistance from the hospital, a not for profit. I believed I fell within their guidelines of qualifying for assistance. Initially, they denied my request with no reason given but said I could re-apply at any time. I re-applied and never got a response. 

Did you follow up with the billing department or patient advocate?  Unfortunately there is no legal requirement the hospital give financial assistance to patients even if they are not for profit.  Though most do.  The biggest mistake patients make is not providing all needed financial information documentation such as pay stubs or tax returns to qualify for financial aid.  It is not enough to simply fill out the application and assume that is all that is needed.  Once you apply the hospital is not required to chase you to complete the process the onus is on you to follow through.

 

Unfortunately if the care was 4 years ago it is probably too late to apply for charity care now.

4 hours ago, ih8theER said:

Do I ignore the request for financial assistance that was never acknowledged by the hospital?

You can try and follow up but it may be too late as you waited so long to follow up from the application.

4 hours ago, ih8theER said:

Should I be concerned that my minor daughter's medical records were sent directly to the CA?

If they have a valid business agreement with the CA then it is not a HIPAA violation to provide the records needed to collect on the debt.  Be very careful.  Typically hospitals only share the records like that when state law allows the CA to sue for the debt on behalf of the hospital.  They may be getting ready to file suit if this is a law firm involved now.

 

Edited by CreditSucksNot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ih8theER said:

I do not know if my CRAs have been notified by this CA. My credit is frozen and I have not thawed it yet to check.

Freezing your credit report does not prevent a creditor from reporting a debt.  It only prevents someone from applying for credit in your name without the authority to unfreeze the reports or for creditors to screen for new credit randomly by accessing your reports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the response. In regards to my financial aid request, I did provide them with all the requested documents. 

 

Contacting someone at the hospital was a challenge. I feel like getting a response was always a challenge. 

 

So it looks like this collections group/lawyer (M1tchell_D_B1uhm) is working with a group called CF Med1cal LLC and according to the letter the hospital removed the balance from its records and the LLC is now the creditor. Not sure how true or correct this is, it's just what the letter states. 

 

Honestly, I just wasn't sure if my requests for aid were useful in my dispute of this debt. 

 

(I purposely didn't spell out the collector's name for search purposes.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, ih8theER said:

So it looks like this collections group/lawyer (M1tchell_D_B1uhm) is working with a group called CF Med1cal LLC and according to the letter the hospital removed the balance from its records and the LLC is now the creditor. Not sure how true or correct this is, it's just what the letter states.

If the letter is correct then it appears the debt has been sold.  Not common with medical debt but does happen.  That means charity care is definitely out of the picture as the hospital has no role in this anymore if the debt has been sold.  Worse:  the debt buyer has NO obligation to offer charity care.

53 minutes ago, ih8theER said:

Honestly, I just wasn't sure if my requests for aid were useful in my dispute of this debt.

If the debt has been sold:  not helpful at all.

 

A google search reveals there are a LOT of problems with this CA and this "law firm" and I use that term loosely.  The negative BBB complaints along with the number of consumer attorneys offering free representation against them is mind boggling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes, I saw all that. 

 

I'm now just wondering how I respond to the letter from the CA. I still don't have several thousand dollars laying around. I'm still a year away from the SOL and honestly, I'm not even sure when the last "activity" would have been on the account. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I may add one more wrinkle, that may or may not matter. 

 

I just looked at my credit report and it appears this CA reported me prior to sending a letter of debt notification and prior to my validation of debt request. 

 

Is this something worthy of a complaint to the BBB? Maybe it's the norm, but i thought they had to notify me first. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ih8theER said:

I'm not even sure when the last "activity" would have been on the account. 

The last activity is either the date of care or when you last made a payment to the hospital on the account.  Which ever is later.

28 minutes ago, ih8theER said:

I just looked at my credit report and it appears this CA reported me prior to sending a letter of debt notification and prior to my validation of debt request. 

 

Is this something worthy of a complaint to the BBB? Maybe it's the norm, but i thought they had to notify me first. 

There is no requirement they notify you before reporting.  It is not a violation to do so.  Sorry.

 

I would send the CA a debt validation  letter to buy time.  The problem you have is the SOL is very much still alive and it appears they do sue over these debts.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Follow the guides;

https://whychat.me/GUIDEBOOK.html

 

https://whychat.me/GUIDE HIPAA PROGRAM.html

 

After opting out and deleting old addresses if you have moved since the date of medical service, send each CRA the initial dispute letter;

https://whychat.me/hipaadisp.html

 

The legal SOL for being sued for a medical debt is 4 years in Florida . The time starts from the date of medical service NOT the first missed payment.

https://whychat.me/States/state-fl.html

 

The CA reporting the account is likely a JDB ( junk debt buyer) who obtained your records from a data miner and NOT from the OC (original creditor health care provider)

 

Much of the advice given by one of the other posters is well meaning but inaccurate and would cause more problems .

 

NEVER send a CA a regular DV on a medical debt.

Edited by Why Chat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Why Chat said:

The CA reporting the account is likely a JDB ( junk debt buyer) who obtained your records from a data miner and NOT from the OC (original creditor health care provider)

A google search revealed no information on this.  My neighbor runs the billing department at a large hospital and it took us almost 20 minutes to get him to stop laughing when he read your statement. He says there is no truth to this what so ever. Please post some links to sites that have documented this occurs in the medical billing practices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CreditSucksNot said:

A google search revealed no information on this.  My neighbor runs the billing department at a large hospital and it took us almost 20 minutes to get him to stop laughing when he read your statement. He says there is no truth to this what so ever. Please post some links to sites that have documented this occurs in the medical billing practices.

I do not wish to get into a technical discussion with you on the subject, however, in general the billing department at any health care provider would have NO knowledge of what occurs to an account beyond it's initial assignment to a business associate CA. That initial assignment also assigns the HIPAA release. Subsequent assignments from that initial CA to ANY other party can only transfer the basic account data and are PROHIBITED under the HIPAA privacy rules from including a transfer of the HIPAA release. Ergo-- any and all further collection activities subsequent to the initial authorized assignment are invalid. ( Unless a patient  SIGNS a new release to a subsequent CA-- which is why NO ONE should ever sign a DV to a CA on a medical account) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I can say in regards to the DC is that according to their letter they are trying to collect for this CF Med!cal LLC which does medical billing services. They were able to send over an actual photocopy of my original within days of me sending a WHYCHAT's DV letter. 

 

I will read over the guides today. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ih8theER said:

What I can say in regards to the DC is that according to their letter they are trying to collect for this CF Med!cal LLC which does medical billing services. They were able to send over an actual photocopy of my original within days of me sending a WHYCHAT's DV letter. 

 

I will read over the guides today. 

A copy of a 4 year old bill is meaningless. Unless they produce a copy of your signed HIPAA authorization with documentation that it was assigned to them directly from the OC they have no right to collect or report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why Chat I can't thank you enough for the info you have put together and continue to share. It's really a life preserver for so many that get caught up in the insane billing practices of the hospitals and eventually dealing with these debt collectors. 

 

You've given me some homework for today. I will report back as soon as I can. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Today's Birthdays

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      176,745
    • Most Online
      1,528

    Newest Member
    zerocat1
    Joined

About Us

Since 2003, creditboards.com has helped thousands of people repair their credit, force abusive collection agents to follow the law, ensure proper reporting by credit reporting agencies, and provided financial education to help avoid the pitfalls that can lead to negative tradelines.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Guidelines