Beware Of Fraudulent Medical Bills
Most of the time, when you get a medical bill that you can’t pay, your best choice is to be honest with the healthcare provider about your financial hardship. With enough research and resourcefulness, you might be able to persuade the provider to settle the debt for a much lower amount than they originally charged you. Even if you do not have the time and energy to research the amount by which the provider overcharged you, you can avoid getting your bill sent to collections by asking to pay the bill in installments and finding out the smallest installment amount that the provider will let you pay. Of course, these scenarios assume that you actually owe the amount that the doctor’s office or hospital charged you. In these situations, you are a victim of a healthcare system that places an unfair financial burden on patients, but at least all parties involved are following the law. Even worse is when you get a bill that you do not even owe, one for services that the healthcare provider never provided. A Jupiter debt lawyer can help you in situations like these.
What to Do If You Get a Medical Bill That You Don’t Owe
There is a difference between medical bills that charge you outrageous prices for treatments you receive and medical bills that you just plain don’t owe. In the latter case, the first thing you should do is contact the hospital or doctor’s office that sent you the bill and tell them that you think the bill was sent to you in error. The billing clerk may determine that you are right about the mistake; perhaps the billing department forgot to note that you already paid the bill, or maybe they sent you someone else’s bill by mistake.
If the hospital or doctor’s office insists that you owe them money, then it is a case of medical billing fraud. In that case, these are some actions you can take to stop the bill from harming your credit score, and to stop the provider from harming other patients and their insurance companies by issuing fraudulent bills:
- If you have private health insurance, call the number on the back of your health insurance card and report the incident.
- Notify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the charge is fraudulent and you are disputing it.
- If you are insured through the Affordable Care Act, call its fraud hotline at 1-800-318-2596.
- If you are a Medicare patient, call 1-800-632-4327 to report the fraudulent bill.
In addition to taking these actions, you should contact a debt lawyer to minimize the amount of damage that the medical billing fraud can do to your credit score and to your financial situation in general.
Contact a South Florida Debt Lawyer About Medical Billing Fraud
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you if you are a victim of medical billing fraud or of unfairly expensive medical bills. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.