We’d been hearing about some hospitals getting aggressive with their medical collections tactics, but now some doctors are getting to the act to. And the states are taking notice:
When Bill Buck accidentally cut off the tip of his finger at his Duarte cabinet workshop two years ago, he headed to Huntington Memorial Hospital’s emergency room.
He assumed his insurance company would sort out the $12,630 bill from the plastic surgeon, Jeannette Martello.
But Martello wasn’t satisfied with the $3,500 insurance reimbursement, so she returned the check and filed a lawsuit against Buck, his wife and his business for the full amount, according to the state attorney general’s office. She also began a process to force the sale of Buck’s home to collect the money, records show.
Martello’s use of aggressive tactics to collect fees from emergency room patients like Buck — including lawsuits, taking out liens on their homes and damaging their credit — prompted an unprecedented court case by state health officials and a judge’s order for Martello to cease the practices.
Has a doctor ever been aggressive when trying to collect from you? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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