Bad Medical Billing Practice


In February, our family was in Breckenridge in Colorado skiing. Mrs Credit Card hurt herself and actually tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in her right knee on the last day of our ski trip. She was taken to the ski’s medical center where she was given a set of crutches and some exercises to do before she sees a doctor back home. While she was there, she paid her co-pay and was told there may be an additional bill and to watch for it in the mail.

And for an update, Mrs Credit Card has had her surgery and all is well (as in the surgery went well) and she is doing her physical therapy now.

Just two days ago, I got an “automated call” from the medical center in Colorado saying that we are “late” on the medical bill and that we had to send it within 5 days. I actually panicked a little because I hate to pay my bills late and the last thing I need in today environment is to get a ding in her credit report. But we keep and check our mails diligently and do not recall seeing any bill from the Colorado Medical Center!

So yesterday, Mrs Credit Card called them up and she paid via credit card over the phone (hey what do expect from us!).

Then today, I got the bill in the mail!!! What the F%^& is going on? Their billing department gives us a call telling us we are late before we even receive the bill in the mailbox! The greatest joke is that there was no due date stated on the bill!

The reason I’m ranting over this is that I’ve had a bad experience with hospital’s billing practices before. Back in 2005, I went to visit a doctor in Lankanau Hospital. We are moved house shortly after. The next time I went back, I was told that I had not paid my bills! Uh! Turns out they have been sending it to the wrong address and they were about to send the bills to collections! I paid up right away!

I do not know about you folks, but I find that bills from hospitals and insurance companies are really messy. Half the time you do not understand what you are paying for. Many times (in my experience anyway) they have problems sending you the bills and stuff like that. Not paying these bills on time make it really easy for your credit score to take a hit without you realizing it. I mean, how could you be late if you have not received your bill?

Anyway, please share any such stories that you have. Is this just an oddball case, or is it more common?

Roundups – Haven’t done this in a while. But several posts have caught my eye. Money Beagle is traveling less now and is using up his dormant frequent flier miles.

Credit card issuers have raised rates on plenty of folks in the last year or so. This just caught up with Mrs A who saw her rates rise on her Discover Card. She went through a meticulous process of figuring out her next move. She has updated her situation here.

Finally, congrats to Lulugal who is finally credit card debt free (well sort of). Read her post to find out.

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One Response to “Bad Medical Billing Practice”

  1. Eric Says:

    I know you detest online bills but this is really a big reason why I choose them over paper bills any day. If I needed a copy for archival, I can just print it out. I have gotten medical bills online in the past and it makes it more straightforward for me AND the hospital.

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