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Long story short, my wife was pregnant, hospital/doctor wanted paid what was estimated my bill would be with my insurance before they would deliver our baby.
So I went ahead and paid what they said ($500 ish), even though I knew it wouldn't be quite that much (they originally wanted $1000).

Well, our baby was born in May, and the bill was alot less (only around $100) but there was other charges for other doctors that also took some of the $500.

Now I'm stuck with a $200ish credit on her account, but the hospital is unwilling to give us the money back.
I've called and the lady said she would email the person in charge of issuing checks.
I've wrote letters demanding a check. I've threated legal action, but nothing ever happens. Months have now gone by, and nothing has been done.

I'm to the point where I am willing to go to small claims court, but I have a feeling that they would settle before going to trial, and then I would be out the fees for filling suit.

Any advice to getting my money back?
If I do file a claim in small claims court (it's like an $80 fee) and they pay up before going to court, will I have to eat the $80 fee for filling the claim?

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I received a phone call back from the billing office. The lady said a check was written yesterday, but someone else has... (more)

halterk (Oct. 27, 2009 @ 12:27p) |

UPDATE:
Received a check today for most of what the hospital owes me. I'm still lacking $40.00 exactly.
The order was put... (more)

halterk (Oct. 28, 2009 @ 12:36p) |

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munkyxtc (Oct. 28, 2009 @ 12:43p) |

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I've wrote letters demanding a check. I've threated legal action, but nothing ever happens. Months have now gone by, and nothing has been done. I'm to the point where I am willing to go to small claims court, but I have a feeling that they would settle before going to trial, and then I would be out the fees for filling suit.
That's because threatening legal action is weak. Especially when you lack the intention of following through.

I'm to the point where I am willing to go to small claims court, but I have a feeling that they would settle before going to trial, and then I would be out the fees for filling suit.
They'll settle if they are smart.

Any advice to getting my money back?
Do I really need to say it?

If I do file a claim in small claims court (it's like an $80 fee) and they pay up before going to court, will I have to eat the $80 fee for filling the claim?
no, you would include in your lawsuit, the costs of filing, attorney's fees as appropriate, pre-judgment interest, etc...

/\ what he said

ditto. however, if you voluntarily made a payment to the hospital -- what are their legal obligations to return it? I'm not saying they shouldn't refund your money, but I'm wondering...do they really have to?

hellyea81 said: ditto. however, if you voluntarily made a payment to the hospital -- what are their legal obligations to return it? I'm not saying they shouldn't refund your money, but I'm wondering...do they really have to?

I am not following your logic --- if the services cost $800 and you paid $1000

then if they keep the extra $200, wouldn't they be stealing it from you?

halterk said:
I've wrote letters demanding a check. I've threated legal action, but nothing ever happens. Months have now gone by, and nothing has been done.


Now you know how the hospital feels about 90% of their patients who don't have health insurance.

Did you place the hospital charge on a credit card? Charge back or contact cc company for direction?

If you sue you can collect the filing fees as part of the settlement.

I would sue for slightly more than the amount of money they owe (think of some reason they owe you a tiny bit more, such as interest on your money even though you are not entitled to interest). When they offer to settle for the amount they owe, reject it, have the case go to small claims, have the judge award you the amount you are owed, plus court costs, and reject your bogus additional charges.

33333 private healthcare

tell them to watch saw vi

Go to the hospital and say give me a check. It is much easier for them to say on the phone that they'll do something and then not do it... but if you are there in person they'll know you mean buisness.

halterk said:

I'm to the point where I am willing to go to small claims court, but I have a feeling that they would settle before going to trial, and then I would be out the fees for filling suit.


I know somebody who was sued for non-payment (I have no idea what the debt was from). They scraped the money together and paid what they owed. Plaintiff did not dismiss the suit, they wanted their costs covered. Defendants appeared in court, said they already paid. Judgment for the plaintiff, if defendants had paid before suit then plaintiffs wouldn't have suffered the expense of filing.

1. AFAIK, defendants didn't settle, they simply paid with no agreement to end the suit. Hospital attorney would be smarter than that.

2. If the cause of action was not a bad check, (and I'm fairly sure it wasn't) I can't figure out where the judge got the authority to assess costs.

Thanks guys for all the information. I will see if I can get some time this week to go by their billing office and first get a copy of all my bills, which will show the credit (I do have a copy of all my bills, but an extra copy won't hurt) and then try to get a check right then and there.
If not, I guess I will head over to the court house and file my claim.

make sure you name the employee personally. I record all phone conversations with insurance and hospital employees. One party states are great.

Send a registered letter to the Billing Manager; if contacted go higher up. noting only the facts: Paid $$ on this date. Contacted the billing office- spoke to ABC 1/1; DEF 2/2. Both people have denied to pay the remaining balance back. Include the certified letter so that you know who signed for it. Total cost of this about $5-8. Make sure you put that you have no choice but to pursue legal action against the same unless the balance is returned in 14 days. Wait for 14 days- file lawsuit. Yes you will have a $80 charge for that- but you can include that and also any money that you have to pay for filing the lawsuit. I am sure the judge will be sympathetic once her sees all these documents and might even penalize the hospital more. Fight it out completely- Good Luck!!

I just got off the phone with the billing department, and now they show my account as having a zero balance.
Two weeks ago I had a credit. Anyway, the lady is going to check with the person who mails out the checks to see if she sent us one, and call me back. Lets see if that happens, otherwise, off to the courthouse.

Here's what you do...

Injure yourself, go to that hospital, and when the bill comes in, tell them to use your credit balance.

I've had this problem twice.
Once with a dentist office where I agreed to pay up front for something that I was dual-insured on. The office manager couldn't add, wouldn't go back and review the bill. Insurance wouldn't disclose what the office was actually paid, they'd only disclose what I should have paid out of pocket. I had to file complaints with the BBB and dental board - after that they refunded my money...

The second time is today. Like you, we just had a child. The hospital screwed up and mixed up claims for my wife's bill with my kid's bill. My wife's deductible was met about $400 ago...
We're waiting on the insurance company to correct the paperwork - and then we'll be up against the hospital for a fight on the overbilling / underpayment of insurance (to the hospital).

When it comes to dealing with slimy professions doctors rank right up there with used cars salesman and Realtors, scum of the Earth imo.

dcg9381 said: I had to file complaints with the BBB and dental board - after that they refunded my money...


I remember this. I'm glad I was able to help out

chimeer said: When it comes to dealing with slimy professions doctors rank right up there with used cars salesman and Realtors, scum of the Earth imo.

In my experience, it has everything to do with the office manager and nothing to do with the doctor. Docs want to practice medicine, not do billing.

dcg9381 said: chimeer said: When it comes to dealing with slimy professions doctors rank right up there with used cars salesman and Realtors, scum of the Earth imo.

In my experience, it has everything to do with the office manager and nothing to do with the doctor. Docs want to practice medicine, not do billing.

Usually, if it is a private practice the doctor is in charge. So if there is a crappy office manager it is still the doctors fault for not firing the person and hiring someone better.

halterk said: Long story short, my wife was pregnant, hospital/doctor wanted paid what was estimated my bill would be with my insurance before they would deliver our baby.
So I went ahead and paid what they said ($500 ish), even though I knew it wouldn't be quite that much (they originally wanted $1000).

I know this is too late for you, but for the rest of us I have never heard of a doctor or hospital asking the patient to pre-pay for a service. If they asked me to pre-pay I would tell them to pound sand, especially if there was no discount offered for the advance payment. Who knows if the baby needs to go to the NICU or if the mother needs a c-section? And what if the wife goes into labor far away from the doctor/hospital and goes to a different hospital? Send me an itimized bill before I will pay.
Did you ask your insurance company if their contract with your provider allows the provider to collect payment before services are rendered? Anyway it seems like you had some flexibility since they dropped the payment from $1000 to $500. Maybe if you had protested more they would have let you post-pay like they do for most other procedures.
You might be able to file a complaint with the insurance commissioner. Technically there is overlap between you and your insurance company's payments, making this a case of double billing and possibly fraud if they refuse to refund the difference.

biomedeng said: halterk said: Long story short, my wife was pregnant, hospital/doctor wanted paid what was estimated my bill would be with my insurance before they would deliver our baby.
So I went ahead and paid what they said ($500 ish), even though I knew it wouldn't be quite that much (they originally wanted $1000).

I know this is too late for you, but for the rest of us I have never heard of a doctor or hospital asking the patient to pre-pay for a service. If they asked me to pre-pay I would tell them to pound sand, especially if there was no discount offered for the advance payment. Who knows if the baby needs to go to the NICU or if the mother needs a c-section? And what if the wife goes into labor far away from the doctor/hospital and goes to a different hospital? Send me an itimized bill before I will pay.
Did you ask your insurance company if their contract with your provider allows the provider to collect payment before services are rendered? Anyway it seems like you had some flexibility since they dropped the payment from $1000 to $500. Maybe if you had protested more they would have let you post-pay like they do for most other procedures.
You might be able to file a complaint with the insurance commissioner. Technically there is overlap between you and your insurance company's payments, making this a case of double billing and possibly fraud if they refuse to refund the difference.


I think this may be a fairly common practice for pregnancies. We had the same issue with our most recent child, and the insurance company was ok with it - even though I'm not allowed to be charged up-front for any other in-network procedure. Fortunately the provider was willing to take pre-payment based on my estimate, which was about $1000 less than theirs and much closer to the actual co-insurance (their estimate was done months ahead of time before we had met our deductible).

I received a phone call back from the billing office. The lady said a check was written yesterday, but someone else has to approve it from the Hosptial, and that I should have the check by the end of the week.

Lets see if I really do get a check.

UPDATE:
Received a check today for most of what the hospital owes me. I'm still lacking $40.00 exactly.
The order was put in on 9/28/09 to issue a check, but the check wasn't written until 10/20/09.

So I guess I have to call and see where the other $40 went..

halterk said: UPDATE:
Received a check today for most of what the hospital owes me. I'm still lacking $40.00 exactly.
The order was put in on 9/28/09 to issue a check, but the check wasn't written until 10/20/09.

So I guess I have to call and see where the other $40 went..


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