An estimated 43 million people get contacted by debt collection agencies for unpaid medical bills each year. It is the most common reason collection agencies contact consumers – affecting 1 in 7 adults. Most of the bills are less than $500.

Thousands of Floridians have been subjected to billing practices which include improper billing and debt collection from the University of Miami and Baptist Health Systems. Many collection practices and improper billing stem from mistakes.

In fact, almost half of all medical bills from these providers contain at least one error. Some bills are sent to the patient prematurely prior to insurance having the opportunity to pay a portion or all of the bill. Patients are often subjected to double or triple billings on co-pays or deductibles. Patients have been forced to self-pay in order to see a medical provider and denied reimbursement after insurance is (re) submitted.

In some of these cases, you may not need to pay the debt collector or the debt at all. Some of these cases include:

•The debt is not verified. If you don’t receive a verification of the debt after asking for it, or are not sent additional information after filing a dispute, you are not obligated to pay the debt.

•There is a mistake. Gather documents – Have you already paid the bill (most common)? Sent to the wrong person? Asking for more than the amount due?

•Your insurer has no record of the claim or hasn’t yet paid. Sometimes, healthcare providers fail to submit claims to your insurance company, so bills that the insurer should have paid, end up with you instead. Call your insurer to see if they have a record of the claim and if not, contact the healthcare provider to file a claim.

•You have a zero balance with the healthcare provider. Contact the doctor or hospital that says you owe them money. If confirmed that there is a zero balance, ask the provider to contact the collection agency to let them know.

If you believe you have been subjected to improper billing from the University of Miami or Baptist Health Systems, please contact Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen today.

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