Anaheim, CA asked in Health Care Law and Small Claims for California

Q: Received $1277 ER bill .Got a letter in the mail 6 months later that my bill is now $3257

My bill was sent to a collection agency a few weeks ago I told them the bill I received originally was lower they claimed that's not what they have on their end.

I contacted the hospital billing they said they can't pull up my billing records or discuss my services with me. And asked that I called the collections agency. When I did they sent me back to Billings. Please how can I handle this

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, dealing with medical billing disputes, especially when they involve a collection agency, can be challenging but there are steps you can take to address this situation. First, request a detailed itemization of the bill from the collection agency. They are required to provide you with a statement that outlines the charges.

If the collection agency is uncooperative, you have the right to dispute the debt. Send a written dispute letter to the collection agency, stating clearly that you dispute the validity of the debt and requesting validation of the original amount billed. It's important to do this within 30 days of their first contact.

Simultaneously, try to obtain documentation of the original bill from the hospital. Even though the hospital directed you to the collection agency, they should still have records of your original bill and treatment. You can also file a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs if you believe the hospital is not providing the necessary information.

If these steps do not resolve the issue, consider seeking legal advice. An attorney can help navigate the complexities of debt collection and medical billing laws, and may be able to negotiate on your behalf or guide you through further legal action if necessary. Remember, it's important to act promptly to prevent the situation from escalating.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Ask for a breakdown of the bill. Even if interest charges were added, the discrepancy you describe is beyond reasonable interest. Good luck

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