Last March my husband and I were in Florida. D visited an emergency room for a non life threatening medical issue. Incidentally he received excellent care. When his treatment was finished and it came time to settle financially with the hospital, a self pay package was chosen. Although we did have out of country insurance our deductible was very large and the paper work for both us and the hospital would be formidable. We paid the hospital directly and we were given a statement that indicated we had paid and that there was a zero balance.
A few weeks later we returned to Toronto Canada, and unfortunately a few weeks after that D passed away from a sudden coronary event. In the weeks and months that followed I was dealing with my grief and the unbelievable amount of paper work associated with getting things in order. I barely took note of the bill that came from a medical collection agency Saying D owed just under $500 for the medical treatment he received. After the second bill arrived I couldn’t ignore it any longer and I called the agency. I gave them the information from the hospital statement I had and they said they would check into it. Two weeks later another bill arrived in the mail. Again I called the agency. This time I spoke to a polite young man who assured me he would contact the hospital and get back to me in a couple of days. He didn’t. Instead another notification arrived stating the balance was my responsibility and to please remit payment in full. These words were highlighted in yellow. An accountant friend of mine told me that it was important to resolve the matter–if not I could get a bad credit rating and my credit cards could be cancelled. What to Do?
I phoned again to the collection agency and spoke to yet another person. Again I told my tale of woe and again they said they would check. I decided not to wait for them to check once again and instead I phoned the hospital.I spoke to a woman at the accounts office. I gave the particulars and she checked and said she had the same information that I had. She said she would send me another copy. I said I didn’t want another copy , but would she please just confirm that their records showed we had paid and that there was a nil balance.She said she couldn’t do that and repeated she would send me a duplicate statement. I must have started yelling because she hung up on me.I called back and this time a man answered He confirmed that the account was paid in full. I asked if he could call the medical billing company and give them that information. He said “What billing company? “ I gave him the name and he said that he never heard of them. He asked me who hired them. I said that it certainly was not me. He suggested it might be a scam or possibly fraud.
I phoned the collection agency for the umpteenth time and shared the conversation that had transpired between me and the hospital. The employee got quite defensive and said it was the hospital that hired them. She told me to wait on the line.I waited and waited until finally the phone went dead. I called back.The lady gave me heck for not waiting on the line. She said she was calling the head office of the hospital. She put me on the conference call and finally it was confirmed to the agency that there was no balance owing on the account. I didn’t get any apologies but when I asked if this meant there would be no more bills, she said that is right. We will see.
I would be interested to hear if any other bloggers experienced anything like this. Now that I have written this blog ,I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and that my blood pressure which probably went sky high from stress has dropped back to normal.