12-06-2012 06:06 AM
In January of 2012 I went to see my doctor who drew blood and sent it to Quest Diagnostics. My doctor asked me to come back about a month later in which he drew more blood and had more tests done. What he failed to tell me was that he requested a large number of blood tests in which my insurance only paid a small fraction of. Had I known he was running so many tests and my insurance wouldn't come close to covering it I would have told him no, instead he had me believe that he was running typical tests. It is almost a year later and I find out that Quest Diagnostics has sent me to collections in the approxiamate amounts of $250 and $450 (this is the cost after my insurance paid a portion). I am currently disputing the charge with the collection agency in which I sent this letter to:
I am disputing the above-referenced debt. Please verify this debt as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
I dispute this debt because it is in reference to lab work my doctor authorized without my knowledge or consent and therefore I am not responsible for the charges and do not owe the debt.
Because I am disputing this debt, you should not report it to the credit reporting agencies. If you have already reported it, please contact the credit reporting agencies, inform them that the debt is disputed, and ask them to delete it from my credit report. Reporting information that you know to be inaccurate, or failing to report information correctly, violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Aside from verification of the debt, do not contact me about this debt. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC Section 1692c requires that you honor this request. Your cooperation will be appreciated.
I fear that even after disputing it, the collections agency will still consider the debt to be valid or find some kind of loop hole to continue to ruin my credit. Is it possible to dispute this and actually win? Has anyone ever fought a medical or lab work bill and won?
12-06-2012 06:23 AM
Unfortunately they are allowed to report. The FDCPA doesn't require them to delete. Your letter is a form of a DV letter which is allowed via Sect. 809 of the FDCPA (the old statute numbers were 1692). Under the law, you actually had to have sent it 30 days from the date of the initial collection notice or activity (early 2012). Once the 30 days has expired, then you can certainly send the lender but it is legally ineffective. IME, most of my CAs responded despite mailing it after the 30.
IMO, your beef isn't with the CA. It's with the doctor. He should have informed you of the tests he requested prior to going to Quest. Because he used a 3rd-party (Quest), you need to figure out what you signed prior to the blood work. I've done business with Quest and they'll have you sign an agreement prior to filling out the blood work saying that I'm responsible for paying the charges following whatever insurance pays, if any. I'd get ahold of that copy to make sure you didn't sign it. If you contact Quest they might have a copy. If they can't come up with one, then maybe you never signed an agreement. If the debt is legit, then I would either send a PFD to the CA or follow the HIPAA process via payment to Quest.
12-06-2012 09:00 AM
I would check this very carefully. I had Quest try this scam a couple of times, although I dealt with it when I got the notice and didn't have it progress to collection.
What Quest will do is try to bill the patient at grossly inflated "list" prices insurance WILL pay for at deeply discounted negotiated rates.
12-06-2012 09:14 AM
Please take a look at this thread. Hopefully this helps.