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How damaging is collection agency?

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  • How damaging is collection agency?

    I have one medical bill from June 2016 that Quest is threatening to send to collection. My insurance won't pay it because Quest billed the procedure twice., when I talked to Quest, they refer me to my doctor, doctor told me they straighten out but Quest still claim it's owned. It's only $111 so I can just pay it and avoid collection which Quest said to do and I will get reimburse. I still want to try to get it straigten out with Quest, but how damaging will it be if they send me to collection? My score are currently in the mid 800's. I'm not looking for any new credit in the next 12 months.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by SueInBoston View Post
    I have one medical bill from June 2016 that Quest is threatening to send to collection. My insurance won't pay it because Quest billed the procedure twice., when I talked to Quest, they refer me to my doctor, doctor told me they straighten out but Quest still claim it's owned. It's only $111 so I can just pay it and avoid collection which Quest said to do and I will get reimburse. I still want to try to get it straigten out with Quest, but how damaging will it be if they send me to collection? My score are currently in the mid 800's. I'm not looking for any new credit in the next 12 months.

    Thanks
    I have no doubt there are several members more qualified to answer your questions regarding this matter. That being said, I know for me personally I would never pay a bill that I didn't feel was my responsibility. They can threaten collection all they want. I wouldn't pay it.

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    • #3
      I would definitely push them to get this resolved. Talk to Quest's billing department and ask them to get this resolved with the doctor.

      They should not send you to collections for a bill you do not even owe. If they do, then you could probably get an attorney involved.

      A collection remark on your credit report will hurt, but if this bill is truly not your responsibility, then you should be able to get any such credit remark expunged.

      Do not pay the bill unless you are obligated to pay it. If it is their own internal billing issue, then tell them to get this straightened out or you will get your attorney involved (they do not want this to go to legal). If it is truly your responsibility, then pay it.

      Never pay a bill just to get them off of your back.
      Check out my new website at www.payczech.com !

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      • #4
        You can use a FICO score simulator to see what will happen to your score.

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        • #5
          1. You wont find a reputable attorney who will take on your case regarding a $111 dispute. They wont work on contingency when there is such a small amount in dispute and paying someone who bills at $300/hr for a $111 bill sorta defeats the point.

          2. You might want to look into whether your state attorney general has a way for you to make consumer protection related complaints sooner rather than later.

          3. You may want to go ahead and pay the bill and straighten it out rather than deal with the headache of having your credit report repaired later on.

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          • #6
            I agree with the above. As much as I can't stand paying something I do not owe or especially double payment, and as unfair as it may seem, you will be the one to suffer by not paying. While your score can be fixed or repaired it is a lot more trouble and leg work to do so. Also, I wouldn't get my hopes up that you would be reimbursed. If that were the case, they probably wouldn't be asking to start with because their records would already show it's a duplicate. For $111 to get this behind me, I would just pay it and move on. That isn't worth the headache a collection and credit repair would entail. Don't let pride and principal make your situation worse. If this was about thousands, maybe. Barely over 100. Not worth it to me.

            I would, however, get this in writing that it was paid in full. I have seen system errors like this come back to bite again later.
            Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you're stupid and make bad choices.

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            • #7
              If they ignore me I ignore the bill, wait for it to go to some third party, then send that third party a copy of the document showing it was paid the first time.

              If you prefer to be active, the key on such matters is to shift the risk to the responsible party. Notify Quest that you will be billing them for excess changes, your expenses, your time, and financing on unpaid amounts. Then if needed do it.

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              • #8
                I worked in hospital billing for a number of years. It sounds like someone is just being lazy or simply doesn't know how to look into the problem. I can tell you that threatening a lawsuit is only going to get you such an exaggerated eye roll that you can experience it over the phone. The same for threatening to bill them for your time. It does not get you anywhere.

                The simple way is to call Quest and ask if the bill is straightened out yet. Do you still have a balance that you don't owe? If so....

                What you need to do is call your doctor's office and ask for a copy of the bill including all the billing and procedure codes. Explain that your insurance is stating that they were double billed and not paying. They should automatically scan your bill before they send it to you to see if anything is amiss, but ask them to do so while you have their ear. Pick it up. Don't wait for it to be mailed. Then call your insurance company and the first words out of your mouth should be, "Hi, I need help. My account with Quest is going to collections because they say it was billed twice and everyone is telling me to talk to someone else. Can you please help me?" This puts the person on the line directly responsible for helping you, and in a nice way. Tell them that you have a copy of the actual bill with the codes and are willing to go over it with them. If everything is correct, call Quest. Do not rely on your insurance to call them even if they say they will. When Quest picks up the phone, say, "Hi, I need your help. My insurance is saying that they won't pay because something was double billed and my account is in danger of going to collections. I don't want to ruin my credit rating. Can you help me?" Go over what codes are on the bill. Let them find a way to sort this out. Double check that all discounts and contract rates were applied. Write down the date, time and names of everyone you talked to. Fax #'s and email addresses to resend the bill helps, too. If necessary, pay the bill and wait for a refund. Just don't rely on them to send it without you calling about it. You will get a refund, but it could be a long wait with a lot of back and forth if people keep passing the buck.

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                • #9
                  thank you all for you advice, I'm going to try to work it out with Quest. I will report back.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Trying to working it out is always a reasonable and wise initial approach. Roll out the rough stuff only if you do not get cooperation.

                    Once I was similarly double billed, and though the company ignored my reports I took the easy way out and paid them a second time. A few weeks later a third bill arrived wanting be paid yet again. That's when I stopped being so nice. I learned the company had been double and triple billing many people. It took years but I was able to recover the funds and well as compensation for my costs and time, and helped others to do so as well.

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                    • #11
                      Ah Quest in their never ending quest for as much money as possible! We just found out that we have a problem with them. Right before Obamacare took effect, my husband had to have some blood work done. I'm sure they made him sign a sheet that said in tiny writing that the bill could be around $900. My husband's vision at the time was in need of new corneas and so couldn't have seen it at all. So the bill for over $900 comes in the mail. I finish having a heart attack when I see it, and call Quest on the phone about it to negotiate a smaller bill which they got around to doing and then sent us the next bill. As we didn't have the $600+ they still wanted I called/wrote them to find out haw we could make payments on the bill and sent them I think $25. Our intent was always to pay the bill but we couldn't do it in one big swoop. The next thing we get from them is they are turning us into a collection agency. I called the billing person and got some gobbledygook about they don't make payment plans, etc. and strangest of all, we had called one day to late to set up a payment plan. Exactly the opposite of what one person had told us. So I get the collection agencies bill and I faithfully send them $25/month until the bill got to about $300 and I was able to pay it out in full. That was several years ago. My husband was talking to some guy about the HARP program the other day and the guy pulled up our credit sheet. It should us owing the Quest one for this big one and one I have no clue what it is for about $100 from Quest.

                      Now that I am happily done with taxes, I have the time to check into this and seeing this post helped remind me. How do you get things that have gone to collections and were paid in full taken off? I know I have to find out about the other bill that I know nothing about so that does involve Quest, but will they take off the other bill that was paid by collections? I have always been under the impression that when bills go to collections, the collections agency pays pennies on the dollar for them, so I'm not sure how co-operative Quest will be with all this. Any advice?

                      I'm usually really good with knowing if a test was done and whether it should have been billed to us or not. Still remember getting a phone call from some collections place saying I owed for a mammogram. Had NEVER received the bill. Was fully insured at the time, so I shouldn't have had a bill anyhow. The girl from collections believed me and took it right off. It is so easy to screw around with people and their medical bills, including sending out bills well over a year after a service in hopes of some scamming company can collect on it which happened once over a CPM machine rental after my knee replacement. I wonder how many little old ladies got scammed out of over $800 thinking it was a bill that they owed.
                      Gailete
                      http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

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