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Medical Collection Advice Needed

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New Member

Medical Collection Advice Needed

Hi All - I am helping my SO build his credit so we can buy a future retirement home togther. He never used credit before and he is 56. I added him on as an authorized user to a few accounts and he was approved for a low limit Capital one. I thought it was a great start, but after reviewing his credit report, he has about 26 collections - all from the same medical group. We called the medical group, they said they could not help us that we cannot pay them directly. She also told me that per "hippa" she cannot discuss the description of the procedures and can only provide me with the date, amount ect. She apologized that they had his address wrong in her system and that the front desk would not have access to patient balances when he asked at his visits (they always said nothing was due besides the co-pay). She mailed us a list of bills and it included the amount in which they sold the debt to the collection company for - some for under a dollar! She said they wouldn't recall the debt to offer a payment plan and said that the collection company would probably settle for a fraction of the price.

 

I then contacted the collection company on his behalf. I asked for a list of balances due with the collection ID number for each one and if they can acceot a settlement of $1,500 on $6,000. They emailed me back with a 56 page document and it included information that should have been protected under hippa (exactly what the the medical group couldn't provide to me). It including specific testing, procedures, reason for consult ect. Not only did they email this information, but they emailed his private information it to me without his permission. First, does the medical group have the right to release procedure information to a collections company? Second, does the collection company have a right to know the medical procedures of the collectee?   Third, can they release medically sensivitive information to me (not married). He feels violated that his personal medical information was given out to a collection company when that should remain private and I have to agree with him. I am assuming that this was this a violation of hippa as what the medical group told me earlier. What happens in this senerio?

 

After 3 weeks of follow up emails with no reply he called them. They kept him on hold for an hour. Will not settle for a dollar less. Will not payment plan. Wouldn't even get into the discussion of personal information. Can we file a complaint on violation and get the accounts removed from credit until something can be worked out?  It seems that what they are doing is unfair and the medical group is also to blame.

The debt needs to be settled, that is not the issue. But to be violated is adding insult to injury and we want to fight back.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you may offer. I am not online all day, but I will reply with additional information if it's needed.

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2 REPLIES 2
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Super Contributor

Re: Medical Collection Advice Needed

From our Mod gdale6:

1. Call the OC and see if insurance can be billed, (or-rebilled), collections ultimately paid by insurance get removed per new rules that came from CRAs settlement with 22 state AGs. If not then
2. see if you qualify for Charity Care, if not then
3. ask that they recall the collection in exchange for full payment
4. Send the reporting CA a PFD offer
5. Google the HIPAA Process and contact its creator for help, this process cannot be discussed in any forum of myFico.

Message 2 of 3
Regular Contributor

Re: Medical Collection Advice Needed

They emailed me back with a 56 page document and it included information that should have been protected under hippa (exactly what the the medical group couldn't provide to me). It including specific testing, procedures, reason for consult ect. Not only did they email this information, but they emailed his private information it to me without his permission. First, does the medical group have the right to release procedure information to a collections company? Second, does the collection company have a right to know the medical procedures of the collectee?   Third, can they release medically sensivitive information to me (not married).

I'm here to tell you (I'm a healthcare practitioner) this is an absolute violation of Hipaa and a lawsuit could be brought forward with this type of information being released 1) to the CA and 2) to you from the CA as a non-married person calling on his behalf and getting the personal health info emailed to you (heck I could call and say I'm his girlfriend or anybody else could too). There are stiff penalties involved. Keep the 56 page document, print the emails which then shows dates, times, etc. and speak with an attorney. Most will provide a free consultation. Or call Legal Aid (google Legal Aid in your xxxx city) in your area as they work either for free or at a reduced price based on ability to pay.

 

Hippa violations of this magnitude is no laughing matter. They may end up with some hefty fines and owe you and your significant other money, rather than you owing them. And I'll bet they'll all disappear from his CR in a New York minute!

FICO 8

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