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Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

Member

Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

A few months ago, I had a hospitalization which included a trip to the ER and an overnight stay for observation and tests. I was released and for a few months, never received a bill. In the meantime, I got my free credit report and found the hospital had made an inquiry against it. This didn't make sense to me at all because I have health insurance and showed them my card, so all I would have owed was a $100 copay. My wife luckily, works in that same hosptial, and knows one of the billing department staff. She had no explanation as to why they pulled my report, I technically wasn't delinquent because I hadn't received a bill yet. I did get the bill shortly after and all I owed was a copay of $100, which my wife hand carried to the billing department for me. With the way the credit bureaus are, I wonder if that will impact my score. KB
7 REPLIES
Community Leader
Epic Contributor

Re: Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

It is a permissible pull since you intitiated a business transaction with them.

It appears to be unusual to request a CR if your payment status with them is in good standing, but they did have the legal authority to access your CR.

I would call them and ask them to either delete or recode their inquiry with a soft pull code.

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Established Member

Re: Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

Was it a Tenet facility?  They did this to me years ago when I literally crawled into the emergency room.  They weren't even equipped to deal with me, and I was only in their facility long enough to get stabilized before they transferred me to another hospital, where I spent 7 days but didn't get my credit pulled.

 

I now have all my reports frozen, and I'm curious if they'd be able to now.

Frequent Contributor

Re: Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

I may be wrong, but as I understand it, a hospital is not a creditor and therefore cannot pull your credit. The pull is additionally unauthorized because you received no notice of the debt. That's how I understand it, at least.


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Current Score: 615 EQ 08-15-11 / 631 TU 09-27-11
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Valued Contributor

Re: Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report


stanggt03 wrote:

I may be wrong, but as I understand it, a hospital is not a creditor and therefore cannot pull your credit. The pull is additionally unauthorized because you received no notice of the debt. That's how I understand it, at least.



How is a hospital not a creditor?  You obtain services from them generally without paying at the time of service because the expectation is that they will bill you at a later time.  Isn't that basically the definition of a creditor -- someone you owe money to?

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Community Leader
Epic Contributor

Re: Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

A party who has a legitimate business need for your CR information in connectiton with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer has specfic permissible pull authority under FCRA 604(3)(a)(F)(i).  Hospitals can assert such a need if they render services prior to receiving payment, and thus want to assess your ability to pay.  Having insurance does not assure they will receive full payment.  I would assert that if you pay in cash at the emergency room, then they could not assert such legitimate business need for your credit information.  Otherwise, they are extending services prior to receiving payment, and thus can assert a legitimate business need.  It would be difficult to dispute what they consider a "legitimate business need."

The expectation of repayment for services rendered is a well-accepted form of "credit" under the FCRA, and extends to such other transactions as apartment rental, auto rental, utilities, and cable/internet services. 

Member

Re: Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

Thanks for the responses. One other thing to note is 2 years ago, I went to the same ER after I had an automobile accident and they didn't pull my credit report then. That time they examined me and did Xrays, but I wasn't admitted to the hospital. They billed my insurance, then billed me, and I paid my share immediately, so it's not like I didn't have a history with this hospital. That was still in their computers because when I called to ask about a bill(it took them almost 4 months bo bill me), that was still in their system. Just thought it was unusual.
Frequent Contributor

Re: Hospital made an inquiry on my credit report

My daughter (now deceased) had hospital bills totally over $600k. I've personally had bills totalling over $100k. While insurance picked almost all of them up, I've never once had my credit pulled by a hospital or doctor's office. Hospitals and doctors don't do that type of thing. That's why they have close relationships with collection agencies. Also, the fact that no bill was ever sent before the credit pull is even more surprising. I've googled the heck out of this and I can't find anyone talking about a hospital pulling their credit, nor any information on whether they have PP to do so.


Starting Score: 596 EQ 5-22-11 / 554 TU 5-23-11
Current Score: 615 EQ 08-15-11 / 631 TU 09-27-11
Goal Score: 700+


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