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Medical Collection / Medical Billing

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posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:26 PM

Its costing me an arm and a leg…


In the United States – today – we see rising food costs. The price of gasoline soaring, unemployment rates at all time highs, with no end in sight ( DHL cuts up to 10,000 jobs …. Starbucks slashes 600 jobs )

The onset of rising costs and lower pay, if any, causes physical and mental stress. Stress of any kind is bad for your health, and without health care, or the money to pay for it – what are you to do?

This is the problem faced by oh-so-many people in this country right now – as you’re reading my thread. Hey – you may even be one of them.

Medical bills piled up – collectors calling and harassing you at all hours. You’re afraid of losing your house, your car, your way of life.
Scary times we live in. Even if it doesn’t directly affect you yet – don’t be so sure that it eventually won’t

No matter what your struggles, I aim to make sure you are educated to your rights. I aim to make sure you are exploring your responsibilities, and I aim to help you find your own way out of this nightmare.

As it pertains to medical collections and medical billing – there are some vast differences in a normal day to day credit card bill/collection.

Consumer “credit” has the beginnings of real protection as we see it in the FDCPA These laws are not perfect, and still contain quite a few loopholes (highly exploited) by the more unsavory sector of the collection industry.

The medical industry has its own:


Which basically states:

The legislation prohibits the furnishing of consumer reports that contain medical information about a consumers, unless the consumer affirmatively consents to the furnishing of the report in the case of an insurance transaction, or the consumer provides specific written consent in the case of the an employment or credit transaction. The legislation also prohibits creditors from obtaining or using medical information in connection with any determination of the consumer's eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit.
(I bolded the very important part)

You can find a lot of useful information Here as to why HIPPA is most important to you, and how you can use it to keep the CA’s and Hospitals off of your back while you recover.

I know it seems like a lot to take in. But if you are one of millions who is struggling with medical bills, you owe it to yourself to read up on the HIPPA act and how it applies to you, and even more so, how you can use it in your arsenal to protect YOUR well-being as provided to you by law.

----Medical Billing ----

A wide-spread plague of a conspiracy running through the medical industry today is how the Medical Insurance companies feed off the Medical industry, and how the medical industry feeds off of the Insurance companies.
It’s a huge and vicious cycle that leaves no room for you – the person who needs the treatment.

It’s a argument that rests on which came first “the chicken or the egg” in the sense that rising health COSTS dictate rising health insurance, but at the same time, there are many other factors involved that could reverse that statement, and say that rising health insurance allowed for rising health costs.

AEW…What do you mean!?

What I mean is – next time you visit a hospital – specifically request an itemized bill.

If you’ve never seen an itemized bill, you’re in luck…. Kind of.
Your bill is going to look like a cryptic message from the planet Mars. You’re going to have no idea what its telling you – and usually – only our insurance company (if you have one) can provide you answers.

But it is within your actual bill its self that your true charges become clear (for a lot of people that is)

A while back, my best friends father, we’ll call him Steve, went in for a check-up. His knee had been bothering him something fierce, and so a CAT scan was opted.

The specialist told Steve that he required surgery on his knee. Surgery was scheduled.

They operated on the wrong knee.
When the error was finally corrected, my friends father, Steve, could not walk for months. He was confined to minimal movement in a wheel chair. But the kicker?

He was charged for both surgeries.

After a long and drawn out process with an attorney and the courts – he was finally able to get some justice for himself. I’m not sure what his settlement was - but I know he came out on top.

We’ve all read the stories about people being charged “$129 for a box of tissues”. These stories are TRUE – they have real proof to back them up.
A very well-written article a while back, called

10 ways to avoid outrageous hospital overcharges

Outlines for us some of these horror stories, along with “how it happened” and “how to avoid it”. Very much worth your time to read it.

It is a law in every state that a hospital has to provide you with an itemized receipt of services rendered upon your request.

This, and a whole lot more is covered in your federally assured Patient Bill of Rights

That’s a lot to look at, I know. But if you refer to the ACS, they offer us a general over view which you can read here

In the end, the general rule of thumb is: If you truly believe you’ve been done wrong – fight for it.

Don’t let them get you down. There are laws to protect you – and unfortunately – some companies and hospitals will rely on you not fighting them with those laws.

I say some – because its not a general practice in the field
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for it.
The approach I choose to take, personally, is that a Hospital is like any other business – they exist to make a dollar. And that’s fine. But don’t forget it. There are internal agents of almost any hospital, who, if they can, will try to get away with shaving a few extra dollars onto your bill.

They’ll submit it to your insurance company, and collect the extra money, “no harm no foul”

But that’s where the big problem comes in. A lot of times – the Insurance Company won’t verify these treatments with you. This creates higher insurance costs, because they are paying out more and more money.

Its defiantly something to be aware of, and defiantly something you should consider when going to a hospital. Check their references first, if you have other options available to you – that is.

When in doubt – check it out.
Doctors enter the field of medicine because it pays well and because the moral rewards are second to none. But that doesn’t mean that some doctors aren’t corrupt, or even Corruptible.
The allurement of money – and large amounts of it – has been known to bring out the ugliest side of human nature, when you’ll walk all over your fellow man in order to make an extra couple hundred dollars from his or her insurance company.

Don’t let it happen to you. Don’t let it happen to the ones you love.
Use this thread as a starting point to further your education and learn for yourself.

“Don’t take my word for it” but don’t take their word for it either.
Don’t become another voiceless victim posting on a blog or a forum about how you got screwed over on a medical bill.

Nip it in the bud before it ever escalates to ruining your life.
When a life saving surgery can cost $30,000 dollars to save your wife, or your husband, mother, father, or child, what are you to do?

If you don’t have insurance, your only option is to foot it and make changes.
That option is up to you and I can provide no advice to how to reach a decision – but I can tell you to watch out and pay attention.
Know your rights before you decide, because your rights and the law will always help you make a better decision.

Level the playing field and don’t give them the upper hand. If you never give someone an option to exploit you – how can they ever begin to try?

I hope you’ve learned something from this, or at the least, enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed providing it.

Questions and comments are most welcome

[edit on 8/26/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:36 PM
Thanks for a well put together post. Many people need to be informed about this and use it to their advantage, instead of letting it hinder them.

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:40 PM
Thank you for taking the time to write out all that information. My family has not had to struggle to pay medical bills, (luckily) but you never know what might happen. So far, we're all pretty healthy, but that could change any time. I did have one instance where we were billed for something that was covered under our insurance and I had to call to get it straightened out. I really feel for people who have a lot of medical problems and the bills that go with them.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 12:06 AM
Wiggins my man if they still had a Way Above Top Secret award, you'd get two votes from me for this and the credit collection threads recently. Knowledge is power and you are doing a public service with these threads.

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