I was seen at a medical practice for a few months while I was in XXXX. My parents lived XXXX miles away but I was covered by their insurance at the time. The paperwork I filled out at the medical office contained only my address and my contact information, and somehow I ultimately ended up owing them money but I did not receive any bills/invoices until months layer. I assume it was for what my insurance did not cover, despite the fact that I checked in with the finance person at the beginning of every visit in that office, paid the copay and made sure my account was up to date. So, I was unaware I had a balance with this medical provider until long after I completed my degree and moved away.
Around 6 months to a year after graduating and moving out of the state, I received mail correspondence from the medical office ( who never contacted me via mail when I lived in the same state, or by phone, even though they had all of this information ). They stated I had a very past due account and please contact them to work out payment. I responded, stating I had never seen this and requested a statement breaking down what the balance was for. I was under the impression insurance had covered everything. If the bills had been sent to my parents ( because they provided my health insurance ), that was a violation of my HIPAA rights. If they did not send them to my parents, then they had n’t been sent at all- not until months to a year later when I received that first notice that I was very past due.
I received no reply from them regarding my request for a statement breaking down what the balance due was for. Maybe a month later, I received another notice from them and again requested a statement or something showing why I owed that money. Again I heard nothing back from them.
Next thing I know, I received mail from a collection agency about the medical bill- the medical office had passed it on without ever sending me a statement of the supposed balance broken down. I called the collections company and asked what the money I owed was for and they stated they could only tell me it was for medical services with that provider, but nothing more specific.
The fact that I had to be dealing with a collection company at all was frightening and anxiety-provoking, and my parents could n’t give me any more information either, so I just paid the collections company thinking that was the best thing to do so they would n’t bother me anymore and everything would be cleared.
Years later, having thought back on the whole situation and seeing that XXXX derogatory collection on my credit report, I realize this is not right. I pay my bills on time ALWAYS. There was a major communication failure from the medical office. I believe one of these things is what caused this : 1-the medical office was not invoicing patients for quite some time & months later sent overdue notices, quickly followed by sending the debt to a collection agency OR XXXX the medical office had been sending invoices to my parents, violating my rights under HIPAA , and if so I never saw the bills bc they were not sent to the address in my chart OR XXXX the medical office needed money & just started sending out bogus notices to people about open balances and then sending them to collections OR XXXX they sent my bills to the wrong address, which would have been returned to them, and at that point in time they should have corrected the address but failed to do so. Never even called me to confirm my address or to ask about settling the balance.
In summation, I went to a medical office who failed to communicate about a supposed open balance, resulting in me paying a collection company money I ‘m still not for what but I felt bullied & pressured into doing so and now my credit score has been affected ever since. This should not be, I need it remedied, and the medical office should be stopped!