Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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Are Hospital Bills as “Valid” as Others?

Dear Melissa,

I have always heard that if you will just pay something that a hospital cannot do anything as far as turning you over to a collection agency, is this true?  If you are paying what you can afford due to still having medical problems, and unable to work, what type of legal actions can a hospital do to you?

Jennie N.

Dear Jennie,

It is a very common misconception that medical bills are not as “valid” or as important as others.  You are not alone to believe that nothing can be done as long as you pay, for example, $5 a month to a hospital or doctor.

I assure you, they are just as legitimate as a credit card or utility bill and can be turned over to a collection agency.

The first thing that I would do is request information on charity donations from your hospital.  Many have money set aside to pay bills for those that cannot afford it.  Sometimes, a hospital will even write off an entire bill if they think they will not be able to collect on it.  Show that you are unemployed and still receiving treatment.  But stay on top of this.  Your account will fall through the cracks easily, because there are hospital employees who do not follow up with this type of occurrence.

As I have preached many times in this column, do not ignore the situation.  Contact your hospital as soon as possible so that they know you are not trying to ignore the bill.

Melissa Douros Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc.

As the owner of Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc., Melissa Douros uses her eight years of being a collections specialists to offer advice and answer questions pertaining to debt collection. With running her own successful collection agency, she seeks to keep debt collectors accountable for their actions and in line with the law.

Do YOU have a question for Melissa? Email her at melissa@dovcocs.com

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