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  1. #11
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    What a scary letter to receive. I completely understand why it had you upset. I'm glad you are able to pay the bill and be done with it - what a weight lifted from your shoulders.
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  2. #12
    Liziz is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melaine View Post
    Thanks guys! I have calmed down.

    We can easily just pay the bill outright and be done with it. In fact, I had recently said to DH that we needed to just pay it so it was no longer a monthly payment. It is just the principle of the thing that made me so incredibly mad (and knowing others are receiving this letter and it's going to be harder for them). By the wording, it looks like we had been shirking the bill all along. Plus it just made me angry from the beginning because we tried to negotiate and they never would drop a penny of that bill (Dave Ramsey always says they will and they haven't for us). And just the general idea that a fully insured patient should have to pay so much for barely adequate medical care. UGH. I guess we'll just pay it and be done.
    If you're up for one final fight with them, it maybe be worth calling and making them a final offer to pay it all off -- i.e. "I just received your letter about needing to clear old accounts. I'm prepared to pay X amount (less than total amount owed) right now as a final payment, if you write off the remainder of the amount". I know you said they've been unwilling to work with you in the past, but getting an account completely cleared can be a big motivator so it might be worth a shot!
    Lizi

  3. #13
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmjenn View Post
    If you have a payment plan with them, that you have not broken, then they should not be allowed to change it and garnish tax refunds. Definitely consult an attorney if a conversation with the hospital billing department continues with that nonsense plan.
    We currently have a judgment against a contractor and one of the ways our lawyer can get the money is from the contractors tax refunds, but I can't imagine the cost involved for a hospital to do this for compliant billee's
    OP, read your update and I think I'd try to call them and as Liziz said try to negotiate a payoff!

    I just have to follow up on this post... they probably know they don't have grounds to do this but are hoping that their "poorer" patients don't have the resources to use an attorney to fight. This happened to us once (in different circumstances) when a school district blatantly flaunted federal law on an accommodation we were seeking. They knew we didn't have the money to front even the initial consultation fee for an education attorney at the time and basically dared us to do anything about it. We were finally saved by an intervention from the connections someone here on the BBB totally helped me out with!! But for every person not so fortunately connected you can easily see how without some financial resources getting fair treatment under the law is incredibly difficult. That may be what is being attempted here.

  4. #14
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    I would call a news station. While you are able to just pay it off and be done with it, others may not be so lucky. You are likely not the only person who just received that letter.

  5. #15
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukeypur View Post
    I would call a news station. While you are able to just pay it off and be done with it, others may not be so lucky. You are likely not the only person who just received that letter.
    OP if you have the bandwidth to do this (and you might not), this is also not a bad plan. It would probably benefit a lot of people.

  6. #16
    Melaine is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Ok, so we called the number and this is what we were told. First of all, our debt was sent to a debt collector about 8 years ago. I argued with them at that point because we had been paying the bills, but they said we had missed a payment so it went to collections. Whatever, so we set up at that point a $50 auto draft each month to pay the bill (they had refused to set up autodraft with the hospital, which was another gripe of mine at the time). Regardless, it turns out over 1.5 years ago they stopped autodrafting us. They did not send ANY letter or correspondence to let us know. They say they called me, but I am 100% sure if they did call I assumed it was spam because that's all the calls I get and spammers are now so shady. We did NOT receive a letter. So we assumed that we were continuing to pay every month and should be close to paying this debt down by now. But it wasn't. So now, the debt collections won't resume autodraft and we have to go back to the hospital bills department. Which is the worst, but the situation is obviously way more convoluted that I originally thought and also probably partially my fault although I really don't know how. Still irritates me but doesn't feel so unjust anymore!

  7. #17
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    So sorry you're dealing with this, and it sounds truly infuriating.
    I do agree with the PPs that say you should call and offer a payoff (lower than full amount owed), because even though it seems counterintuitive, the fact that it is back at the hospital is a good thing. Patient debt goes from hospital billing (where they hope to collect ~60%) -> debt collection (where they hope to collect another ~30-35%, less the debt collector's cut) -> back to hospital where it is going to be written off as bad debt. (I know this because I work in healthcare and studied this exact phenomenon for a client.) So at this point, the hospital is very motivated to just get the debt off their books, and would likely take a significant chunk off it to close it (vs. write off the full amount, which is the most likely scenario from the hospital's perspective.)
    Unfortunately, any impact to your credit because of the debt collection and missed payments has already happened - but that means there is little to no risk to negotiating a low payoff with the hospital and being done with it.

    Again, it is totally unfair that you're in this situation, but hopefully you can use the vagaries of the system to get this over with quickly. Good luck!
    Mom to Mr. Sunshine 9/08
    and Miss Happiness 3/11

  8. #18
    Melaine is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    I called and paid the full amount. The gave me 20% off which I guess is the best I could do. Still makes me so mad for so many reasons but it's done!

  9. #19
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melaine View Post
    I called and paid the full amount. The gave me 20% off which I guess is the best I could do. Still makes me so mad for so many reasons but it's done!
    It is done! What a relief! 20% off is better than nothing but I agree that it is a huge hassle!

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