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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 436
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
0

Anyone? Medical collections...

Hey, all.  Here's the deal -- I have a disabled child, and for the past 9 years he has undergone everything from open heart surgery to brain scans and countless therapies. 
 
All of his medical has always been paid, 100%, by Medicaid. 
 
Two years ago he had his yearly head and neck X-rays as an out patient at one of our usual hospitals, and as usual, upon admission, they made a copy of his medicaid card and my driver's license.  I have never, ever ever received a bill for any service rendered to him, and most certainly never expected to get one. 
 
Two weeks ago I received a scorewatch alert, from MyFico, telling me that my credit score dive bombed more than 70 points.  (From 662 to 590).  This was due to 2  new medical collections for the x-rays my son had two years ago, and for which I never received a bill -- and that was because the collection agency had my address wrong -- but anyway, upon speaking with the original creditor, the hospital, I was told that they didn't bill Medicaid because they had no Medicaid information on my son, which is nonsense, because we've been in that hospital a thousand times (at least) and had the same x-rays done at least a hundred times, and Medicaid was always billed and always paid. 
 
Their mistake, for not looking into his records for insurance coverage, nor looking at the admissions form which had his medicaid number on it -- right?  Not so, according to them.  According to them, because I didn't contact them regarding the bills they sent out (which I never received) and because it's too late for them to bill Medicaid, not only do I have to pay, but they are refusing to take the collections off my credit file.  The best they will do, they say, is mark them "Paid Collections" which might raise my score to what, and in how long?  5 points in a year?  So, anyway, here I am, after three and a half years of paying every single bill on time, and monitorring my credit like a hawk -- having been non-existent for so long -- with a credit score of 590, and just when I need a car. 
 
Any advice?  Anyone? 
 
Thanks.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,374
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
0

Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

I would take the case to the local media. This incident could be VERY bad pr for the hospital in question. I suspect they'd be willing to get off their rear ends and resolve the problem rather than having the evening news or local paper report they trashed the credit score of a parent with a disabled child over a bill Medicaid would have paid anyway.
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in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 436
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
0

Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

:smileyhappy:  Thanks, "Man"!  I have considered that.  Thing is, we're in and out of the hospitals so much, for so many different things, I wouldn't want some tech with an attitude to draw blood on my child.  He's a hard enough "stick" as it is, having lousy circulation in his arms, due to all that's wrong with his heart. (Residual of a paritially repaired complete-complex endocardial cushion defect.)  They have a hard time finding his veins, and have to stick him 6-7 times to get what they need for all the bloodwork he needs.  I wouldn't want someone to be cruel to him (he's so very brave) because I made their place of employment look bad -- you know?  He's such a champion.  It's good advice, though; and if the circumstances were just a little bit different ... as it is, my main priority is just keeping him going. 
 
O, and by the way, you give lots of good advice.  I read your posts.  Have a good evening!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 351
Registered: ‎04-02-2007
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Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

I work in healthcare and am familiar with most insurance.  It's not legal to bill a Medicaid recipient - at least in my state and I'm sure the same holds true for most if not all states.  If it's not legal to bill them then I'm sure it's certainly not legal to report an unpaid bill for a medicaid patient to the CB's.  Check into your state medicaid laws.   In my state, a provider can't even bill a patient who is pending approval for medicaid coverage.  Healthcare providers can get into serious trouble for billing medicaid recipients.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 436
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
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Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

O, my.  I'm going to have to call the Medicaid office, tomorrow, because the Medicaid official at the hospital told me that because the bill was two years old, Medicaid could no longer be billed and I was, then, responsible for paying it.  She gave me the reduced medicaid rate (which is ridiculously low, if you know about such things) the hospital would have been paid, and I did pay it.  I (kindly) asked for a pay to delete, but was refused. Perhaps the Medicaid office, or CMS can help get this off my credit.  Thanks, so endlessly thanks, for the information!!! 
 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 351
Registered: ‎04-02-2007
0

Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

Well, like I said, check into your state laws regarding medicaid FIRST.  Depending on where you live, your laws may or may not differ.  I'm just assuming that most states have the same general guidelines in this regard.  Here's a start for your research:  http://64.82.65.67/medicaid/states.html
 
I don't understand why you would ever be responsible.  It was their responsibility to obtain the insurance information from you.  If they lost it, then they should have contacted you to try to get current information.  It is not your problem that they didn't do their jobs. 
 
And, yes, I know about the fee schedule for Medicaid.  They literally pay pennies on the dollar.  However, it is very necessary especially for children, the elderly and the truly disabled who would be helpless without it.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 436
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
0

Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

Househunter, you are so wonderfully kind -- as well as an absolute wealth of information!  Thank you! 
 
As for my being responsible, it's because (they tell me) they didn't have his Medicaid info, though, and as you know, through admissions they made  a copy of his Medicaid card, which they do every time, as well as a copy of  my driver's license.  This is standard procedure, as you know.  Why they had my city of residence wrong then (for billing) is beyond me, and which might well explain why I didn't receive a bill.  It's all the more beyond me that they didn't have his Medicaid info, as he's had so many (countless) procedures at this particular hospital, and this particular procedure at least 10 times, as well as he's received all of his OT, PT and SLP at this same hospital.  Kick his name into the puter, and all of his info comes right up, in just about every hospital between here and Miami.  Incredible.  Having said that, I'm off to research the info you so graciously sent, and for which I am most thankful. 
 
Have a terrific evening!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 351
Registered: ‎04-02-2007
0

Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

You are very welcome!  If you need any additional help, just send me a message. 
 
Oh, and by the way, a lot of hospitals have special assistance programs for those who qualify.  If they thought you didn't have insurance and they offer one of these programs, they should have contacted you to see if your son qualified. 
 
I really hope that you find the answers that you need and can get this removed from your report so your scores don't suffer because it never really should have been there to begin with!
 
 
New Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-27-2007
0

Re: Anyone? Medical collections...

I am a leukemia survivor. I also had problems with "phantom" medical bills showing up on my credit report. Most of the time this was because I had a primary and secondary insurance. The hospital would bill my secondary as primary and my primary as secondary. Both insurance companies would deny the claims. I wouldn't be informed until more than a year latter when it was to late to do anything about it. I ended up having to pay in full.  
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 5,436
Registered: ‎03-10-2007
0

Re: Anyone? Medical collections...



MercyMe wrote:
Hey, all.  Here's the deal -- I have a disabled child, and for the past 9 years he has undergone everything from open heart surgery to brain scans and countless therapies. 
 
All of his medical has always been paid, 100%, by Medicaid. 
 
Two years ago he had his yearly head and neck X-rays as an out patient at one of our usual hospitals, and as usual, upon admission, they made a copy of his medicaid card and my driver's license.  I have never, ever ever received a bill for any service rendered to him, and most certainly never expected to get one. 
 
Two weeks ago I received a scorewatch alert, from MyFico, telling me that my credit score dive bombed more than 70 points.  (From 662 to 590).  This was due to 2  new medical collections for the x-rays my son had two years ago, and for which I never received a bill -- and that was because the collection agency had my address wrong -- but anyway, upon speaking with the original creditor, the hospital, I was told that they didn't bill Medicaid because they had no Medicaid information on my son, which is nonsense, because we've been in that hospital a thousand times (at least) and had the same x-rays done at least a hundred times, and Medicaid was always billed and always paid. 
 
Their mistake, for not looking into his records for insurance coverage, nor looking at the admissions form which had his medicaid number on it -- right?  Not so, according to them.  According to them, because I didn't contact them regarding the bills they sent out (which I never received) and because it's too late for them to bill Medicaid, not only do I have to pay, but they are refusing to take the collections off my credit file.  The best they will do, they say, is mark them "Paid Collections" which might raise my score to what, and in how long?  5 points in a year?  So, anyway, here I am, after three and a half years of paying every single bill on time, and monitorring my credit like a hawk -- having been non-existent for so long -- with a credit score of 590, and just when I need a car. 
 
Any advice?  Anyone? 
 
Thanks.


 
Dispute the charges.  First contact the hospital and let them know that your son's treatment was covered by medicaid and that they need to bring it back from the OCA. Most hospitals will do that gladly if they overlooked billing.  If they failed to file a claim, that is not your responsibillity.  If they give you a hard time, let them know that the info was provided and they never billed you and dispute it with the credit bureas.  They can still bill medicaid as long as services were rendered during a time he was covered.

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