Medical Collection - Advice Sought

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I'm involved in what appears to be a collection and made some mistakes. If there's no recourse, I'm more than willing to suck it up and move on. However, I'd like to get your opinion/advice. Here are the details:

1. October: Visited XXX University urgent care. Paid copay at the time of visit.
2. December 20: Received call from XXX University Hospital requesting I call back.
3. December 26: Called the 877 telephone number given in the voicemail. The following occurred/was discussed:
a. The recorded answer stated that the number belongs to XXX University Health System.
b. I was told that I owed $122 for the visit in October.
c. My address was recorded incorrectly in their system (was an old address). I updated it.
d. I explicitly asked if the balance was in collections since they had been unable to contact me and the answer was no.
e. I paid the $122 via credit card and requested a receipt to be emailed.
4. December 30: No receipt received, called the 877 number (closed), so I directly called the urgent care office. They have no record of payment.

After doing phone number seaches, it's reasonably clear to me that I paid a collection agency. I'll confirm this very soon when I speak to someone else in XXX University billing. Assumng this is true, is there any recourse considering:

1. The collection agency misrepresented itself as having been part of XXX University Health System
2. The person I spoke with explicitly stated that the balance was not in collections

Like I said, if I need to suck it up as a life lesson, so be it. Your advice is appreciated.

Member Summary

To start: ask the CC company to get a copy of the receipt for you. That's a routine request.

Second: I'm hearing several biz names: "XXX University Hospital" and "XXX University Health System". Is it possible that these fees are for different pieces of the visit? Maybe labwork, Xrays, or separate charges from the hospital and the MD (happens all the time with ERs; not sure about urgent care)? Spend some time calling the clinic/hospital/doctor and see what turns up.

If nothing else, you can dispute the CC charge, leaving it up to the collections people to identify themselves and their role in all of this. But do some more digging first.

Between 1 and 2 did you receive an insurance Explanation of Benefits that specified your expected contribution? Was it $122 beyond your copay?

revheck said:   Between 1 and 2 did you receive an insurance Explanation of Benefits that specified your expected contribution? Was it $122 beyond your copay?

Yes. Normally I do not seek to make payments until a bill is received. In hindsight, I should have been more proactive. This is definitely one of my mistakes, which is why I share responsibility for this predicament.

arla said:   To start: ask the CC company to get a copy of the receipt for you. That's a routine request.

Second: I'm hearing several biz names: "XXX University Hospital" and "XXX University Health System". Is it possible that these fees are for different pieces of the visit? Maybe labwork, Xrays, or separate charges from the hospital and the MD (happens all the time with ERs; not sure about urgent care)? Spend some time calling the clinic/hospital/doctor and see what turns up.

If nothing else, you can dispute the CC charge, leaving it up to the collections people to identify themselves and their role in all of this. But do some more digging first.


My use of "Hospital" and "Health System" were meant to be synonymous. In this case, I don't think that the urgent care facility and MD are separate bills. No lab work was done.

Update: Just spoke with a billing specialist. She claims it never went to collections but confirmed that the payee listed on my CC statement is who they use for collections. She will investigate and let me know in a few days.

It sure sounds as if it was in collections.



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