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Medical Billing Tomfoolery

October 22nd, 2014 at 12:57 pm

S had some medical issues earlier in the year, and the bills from one place are still coming through. Frustratingly, they age the bills by the service date rather than the date they sent us the bill, which means that even though it takes them three months to submit to our insurance and get paid and then figure out what we owe, the first time they send us the bill it shows as 90 days past due. Then they weren't crediting some of our payments, or some of the insurance company's payments, and so of course soon we got the "we're going to send you to collections if you don't pay right away" bill.

I really didn't want to stretch to pay the full bill at once, so I called and worked out a payment plan of $255 per month. The first payment came due, I (and I know this was my big mistake) filled out the billing slip with my credit card info (it's the Freedom card we pay off every month), wrote $255.00 in the "Amount Paid" box (and even wrote "as agreed" next to the box), signed and mailed it in.

They charged my card $586.16.

I sent an online communication to them noting the discrepancy and requesting a refund of $331.16 within 10 days. It has now been 15 days and no refund.

I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to dispute the charge with Chase, or if I should just let it go. I can afford the payment (the total bill was higher, the $586 must have been one of their weird aging things), really. It's a legitimate medical bill so I'll have to pay it at some point regardless. I'm just irked because I only authorized $255 -- it's the principle of the thing. I don't know if charging more is illegal, but it does appear to be a violation of their agreement with Visa.

What do you think? Let it go as a lesson learned never to give credit card info to a medical biller, or dispute it and make them abide by the terms of their agreements, with me and the Visa people?

3 Responses to “Medical Billing Tomfoolery”

  1. Kiki Says:

    It is a learning curve but I would call and tell them what they have done.

  2. snafu Says:

    Sounds like a scam to get provider to turn over delinquent accounts. I'd ask CC [Chase] for intervention to insist they abide by thw signed, written agreement with issuer. Next month they could elect to add $ 1K to the bill whether it's owned or not, whether it reflects insurance pay out. They are so arrogant, the rules don't apply. I think people don't bother to hold them to the rules so ethics have vanished. It's more than just $ 331. I'd go so far as suggest they write-off the balance as a goodwill gesturel.

    I'd CC service provider that their billing agency is causing them grief. By the time a bill is even issued it's 90 days, people have moved, changed employers, changed insurance providers due to the new system etc.

  3. Miz Pat Says:

    I agree that calling the credit card company and complaining might be a good idea.

    Good luck with this major annoyance.

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