Author Topic: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient  (Read 6353 times)

EconDiva

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Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« on: February 18, 2015, 09:04:53 AM »
Not looking for any sympathy here but I'm kinda in shock right now.  I've been seeing this one primary care physician for about 3 years now and like her a lot.  I was informed on my last visit that I had an outstanding balance.  I honestly let it get away from my mind and forgot to pay it.  I called today to pay and they said they sent me 2 certified letters in the mail regarding my balance.  I did not receive these.  Which I am not surprised about because I have had issues (a lot of issues) with receiving packages and mail delivered to my current address.

Anyways, I went online a couple of times about 2 or 3 weeks ago to pay and couldn't use their website.  The office states its because they had already 'locked me out of their accounts' and deemed me in their system as 'inactive'.  The person on the phone stated that the Dr. had sent me an email message (through their website, which I am unable to log onto) confirming I can no longer see her.

I'm kinda bummed...she sees patients on Saturdays and with a 3 hour daily commute I'd have to request off time to get doctors appointments in the future now.  I guess this is my fault but.....ugh.

caseyzee

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 09:10:59 AM »
Meh, there are other good doctors out there.  Ask your neighbors for a few good recommendations and then go talk to some.  You'll find one you like.

Greg

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 09:11:25 AM »
That's too bad. 

As the spouse of a Doctor, I can sympathize with your Doctor, it seems like they tried to collect and couldn't.  I would mail payment with a letter full of apology and devoid of excuses, and ask politely if you can be a patient again since you are paid off.  That's about all you can do.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 09:12:20 AM »
That's too bad. 

As the spouse of a Doctor, I can sympathize with your Doctor, it seems like they tried to collect and couldn't.  I would mail payment with a letter full of apology and devoid of excuses, and ask politely if you can be a patient again since you are paid off.  That's about all you can do.

I probably won't see her again but I will go ahead and mail the payment; I think that's a good idea.

Best regards,
Jade

RexualChocolate

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 09:19:25 AM »
I'm sure they'll reactivate you once you're in good standing.

You can also propose to prepay at every doctors visit if they don't want to since you've probably had a history of nonpayment for them to do this.

I see two sides to this- At first glance, you should pay what you owe. If you've been getting continual service from a doctor for 3 years, there should be no surprises.

The flip side of this is that the problem with most doctors offices is try to call in and ask "How much will it cost if I come in and you xray and treat my swollen ankle" they have absolutely no idea. Literally- try it. They have no idea what things cost. They have a 'retail cost' that is 100% meaningless and not what anyone pays. They then file it with insurance and you get a seemingly random amount deducted. That's their first pass- most people just pay this. You can then negotiate another 10-50% off of this price. I usually look up medicare rates and offer to pay 2x of that, settle when it gets around there.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 09:23:20 AM »
I'm sure they'll reactivate you once you're in good standing.

You can also propose to prepay at every doctors visit if they don't want to since you've probably had a history of nonpayment for them to do this.

I see two sides to this- At first glance, you should pay what you owe. If you've been getting continual service from a doctor for 3 years, there should be no surprises.

The flip side of this is that the problem with most doctors offices is try to call in and ask "How much will it cost if I come in and you xray and treat my swollen ankle" they have absolutely no idea. Literally- try it. They have no idea what things cost. They have a 'retail cost' that is 100% meaningless and not what anyone pays. They then file it with insurance and you get a seemingly random amount deducted. That's their first pass- most people just pay this. You can then negotiate another 10-50% off of this price. I usually look up medicare rates and offer to pay 2x of that, settle when it gets around there.

No, I've actually never had a history of nonpayment with them in the three years I've been seeing them but I guess that's neither here nor there.

mskyle

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 09:25:01 AM »
Yeah, pay your bill and I bet they will take you back. And you should pay the bill regardless since 1) you owe them and it's the right thing to do and 2) if they send the bill to collections it will be a real pain in the ass. It's business, it's not personal.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 09:31:31 AM »
From a purely economic point of view I wonder if its better to just let medical debt accrue now if you're done with a particular doctor or service group since its effect on credit score is muted. I guess it depends on how muted the effect is with the 2015 FICO changes.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 09:48:13 AM »
I just sent her a payment via Paypal with a note attached with my apologies.  I was able to find an old receipt confirmation in my email, and it had their Paypal email address for direct payments included in it.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2015, 09:51:14 AM »
From a purely economic point of view I wonder if its better to just let medical debt accrue now if you're done with a particular doctor or service group since its effect on credit score is muted. I guess it depends on how muted the effect is with the 2015 FICO changes.

I'm sorry but I didn't get what you're suggesting.  I found a way to pay her and just sent her the payment via Paypal.  Generally speaking, letting medical debt accrue doesn't sound like a good thing.  I maybe spend $200 at most to see my (now former) PCP throughout the duration of an entire year.  What are the 2015 FICO changes you are referring to?  I will have to look this up.....

RexualChocolate

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2015, 10:27:23 AM »
High level summary of changes http://www.cnbc.com/id/101905844

Also says if you zero your balance, having a bunch of late payments no longer negatively affects you. Pretty intense model changes, but I think they mostly make sense.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 10:30:27 AM »
High level summary of changes http://www.cnbc.com/id/101905844

Also says if you zero your balance, having a bunch of late payments no longer negatively affects you. Pretty intense model changes, but I think they mostly make sense.

Nice...thanks for the info.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 10:32:00 AM »
Just to clarify because I don't think it was clear in my original post...they wouldn't accept my payment when I called them to pay this morning.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2015, 10:38:16 AM »
Doesn't certified mail require a signature? I'd want them to back up their claim that they sent multiple bills that way, if you didn't receive them.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2015, 10:43:36 AM »
Doesn't certified mail require a signature? I'd want them to back up their claim that they sent multiple bills that way, if you didn't receive them.

It does.  I'm never home to sign for anything during the week so unfortunately a lot of my mail and packages end up getting returned. 

Either way, I was aware of the balance so I guess asking them to verify I didn't get the mail is kinda mute.  It's not like they said 'you received it and we know it'...they just said they sent certified letters, which I am pretty sure they did do. 

I guess I'd be curious now to see if they receive my payment and respond.

dycker1978

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2015, 10:46:08 AM »
This is kinda comlainy pants isn't it?  I did not pay my bill for services rendered, because I forgot, and now they wont let me pay, and I cannot receive this service any more....

You made your bed, unfortunately, now be the moustashian that you are claiming to be and deal with it!

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2015, 01:07:04 PM »
Update:  FYI I got a confirmation email from the office.  They thanked me for resolving my balance and stated I should understand their policy is for all patients and best of luck to finding another doctor.

EconDiva

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2015, 01:08:11 PM »
This is kinda comlainy pants isn't it?  I did not pay my bill for services rendered, because I forgot, and now they wont let me pay, and I cannot receive this service any more....

You made your bed, unfortunately, now be the moustashian that you are claiming to be and deal with it!

I guess it is kinda complainypants...?  Anyways I dealt with the issue and am moving on now.

LadyStache

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Re: Unpaid balance=doctor rejected me as a patient
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2015, 01:36:19 PM »
How much and how long was your balance overdue?