Bad Medical Billing Practices

Bad Medical Billing Practices

Yesterday, while driving out to a property to take photos, I received a phone call from Midwest Service Bureau, a collection agency, calling about, no scratch that, demanding payment, of a bill from Dr. James Vincent of The Therapy Center, a bill that we thought had already been covered by secondary insurance.

As we had only received the letter about the debt being passed to Midwest Service Bureau on Friday, Feb 5, 2021, and the Therapy Center was closed when we called that afternoon. I explained the situation, that I need to talk to The Therapy Center before I make any sort of payment, and he wanted proof that insurance had paid, I told him I did not have proof, as I have to look into it, anyway, he notated that I refused to pay, and he hung up after I expressed my dislike for him and Midwest Service Bureau.

Going back to the beginning, our son, Conner had his second evaluation for Autism at The Therapy Center, receiving a bill for $393.73 about 5-6 weeks later, after our primary insurance had paid 40% of the bill. We did not pay the bill, instead, my wife provided The Therapy Center with secondary insurance from Conner’s biological father. Then, we would have paid the remainder if any after the secondary insurance had been billed. We never received another bill from The Therapy Center, so we assumed that the secondary insurance had covered the remainder of the bill, and we moved on with our lives.

That was until, Friday, February 5, 2021, when we received the collection letter from MSB.

My wife finally got hold of the billing department at The Therapy Center, we explained the situation to Kelly, and she could not find any trace of the secondary insurance we had provided to the front desk back in December during an appointment for our Daughter. Kelly took the insurance details again and said she would contact MSB and put a hold on the collection, while secondary insurance was being billed.

Getting to the title of this blog, the bad billing practice; a simple phone call to us could have resolved this issue. Sending out monthly billing statements would have given us a clue that something was amiss; heck, they could have even Emailed it if they did not want to print and mail out a statement, they have my Email address. Neither of these things happened, and now my wife is going to have a collections order on her credit report, even if they notate that it was there in error, it still dings her score, which is unacceptable.

I don’t mind paying bills or at least make a payment arrangement to break up larger bills, which are common in medical billing. What I do not like is businesses not doing their due diligence, and sending bills to collections without even making an attempt to talk to the people who owe them money. That creates a lot of bad will, and more than likely, that person will no longer patronize their business.

The reality is that most people who are in the unfortunate position of having to deal with collection agencies like Midwest Service Bureau don’t have the cash flow to pay $$$$ out of pocket. Companies should think about calling and talking to their customers, most people would be willing to work out a payment plan, to avoid being sent to collections, while also creating goodwill with your customer base.

Now, we wait, will we get any further correspondence from The Therapy Center regarding the insurance claim? will collections get resumed, without a single word to us? I hope not, but I won’t be holding my breath, based upon my experience. This incident has forever tarnished my view of The Therapy Center.

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