Letters to the Editor 4-26-19

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It’s a fine line between billing and harassment

Dear Editor,

When does the work of a billing agency become harassment?  What obligation—particularly when Medicare recipients are involved—does a clinic that has subcontracted to a billing company have to ensure that company is correctly billing insurance or Medicare and is behaving properly? 

Last February, I went to Trinity Urgent Care, a clinic I’ve found caring, involved and with great doctors. I gave them all my correct Medicare information.  Yet, shortly, I received a bill for the entire balance, and no evidence of any attempt by the billing subcontractor to bill my Medicare Advantage Plan.

I called the billing company. They said they’d rectify the problem. Yet, the bills kept coming, increasingly shrill in demanding payment. I wrote repeated letters—copied and to Trinity Urgent Care—stating (the term “cold day in hell” was eventually used), I’d not pay something never billed to Medicare. Yet, soon, threats of collection. 

In a visit to Trinity’s office about the problem, a gal at the front desk shrugged and said, “We don’t do the billing.” So, they have no responsibility for someone acting in their name?

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