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Debt collectors in MN pushing a little too hard?

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
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That's just wrong, and it looks like various agencies and state AG's are getting ready take some action. If someone demands payment from me as I enter the ER, I'd tell them to F off.
 

brandonb

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 2006
3,731
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I don't see the issue with it.

If you go to a hospital and stiff them, then go back, I'd expect them to say "hold on. You need to pay your last bill."

Thats exactly what they are doing.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
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I don't see the issue with it.

If you go to a hospital and stiff them, then go back, I'd expect them to say "hold on. You need to pay your last bill."

Thats exactly what they are doing.
Assuming you're serious, here's "the issue" with it:

1. HIPAA. They have no right to know details about your health problems and any diseases/conditions you have.

2. By law they must identify themselves as debt collectors.

3. Saying "hold on, you need to pay your last bill" is not something you do in the ER. It is a threat to their life; and owing a debt is not justification for threatening one's life.
 
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CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,353
1
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Assuming you're serious, here's "the issue" with it:

1. HIPAA. They have no right to know details about your health problems and any diseases/conditions you have.

2. By law they must identify themselves as debt collectors.

3. Saying "hold on, you need to pay your last bill" is not something you do in the ER. It is a threat to their life; and owing a debt is not justification for threatening one's life.
So the doctor is compelled by law to use his lifetime of expensive training to treat you, even though you have no intention of compensating him for said treatment? Sounds very unethical to me.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,599
5
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Much depends on why they are in the ER.
Many use the ER because they have a cold or a scrape because they have no MD to go to.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
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So the doctor is compelled by law to use his lifetime of expensive training to treat you, even though you have no intention of compensating him for said treatment? Sounds very unethical to me.
That's a separate issue. If you want to talk about whether doctors should be forced to provide life-saving services even though the patient cannot/will not pay for them (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act), that's fine... but that doesn't have anything to do with whether these debt collectors can/should do what they've been doing as outlined in the article.

According to the article, some doctors have complained about Accretive's practices in their hospitals.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,739
3,563
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So the doctor is compelled by law to use his lifetime of expensive training to treat you, even though you have no intention of compensating him for said treatment? Sounds very unethical to me.
We could throw the patients in the sea. Salt water will cure a lot of things.

Or maybe we should stop with the bull shit that human life has any meaning or dignity and rewrite the Constitution to protect the dollar instead of people.

Medicine will be a lot easier. We'll just need some scotch tape.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,807
4,715
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People should just buy their own insurance instead of sticking others with the bill, but that's now called "socialism" by the right.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,739
3,563
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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/business/debt-collector-is-faulted-for-tough-tactics-in-hospitals.html?src=me&ref=general

Kinda understand the need to keep the billion dollar medical industry afloat, but I am in the process right now of trying to reverse bullshit charges against me from my last hospital visit, so am not inclined to side with the business on this issue.
I find it very very hypocritical when folk abandon their worship of God all Corporation just because CEO on High accidentally stuck a horn in your ass.

Please read Job, have some faith, and return to the fold. You start thinking about things and you are going to be in fucking trouble. Fair warning: Doubt is pain.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,670
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People should just buy their own insurance instead of sticking others with the bill, but that's now called "socialism" by the right.
No it is called socialism when you are mandated to buy heavily taxpayer subsidized insurance.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,916
172
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People should just buy their own insurance instead of sticking others with the bill, but that's now called "socialism" by the right.
Pardon me, but that's a vapid response with a political attack spin attached.

Most people with insurance have co-pays. Perhaps you are a govt employee or a senior exec at a big company with a gold-plated plan, but for the rest of people insurance doesn't carry 100% of many HC costs.

Many people who once had insurance are unemployed. They lost their employer provided insurance and being unemployed cannot afford to purchase a private plan.

Hospitals should be able to enforce collections. But collection agencies do need to abide by reasonable rules. Planting collection agents in ER's etc and stealing laptops seems over the line to me.

Fern
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,652
199
101
Hospitals should be able to enforce collections. But collection agencies do need to abide by reasonable rules. Planting collection agents in ER's etc and stealing laptops seems over the line to me.

Fern
Exactly. Nobody is saying the hospital can't collect, just that they can't break the law to do it. Providing medical information to the debt collectors is a violation of Hipaa. The debt collectors not identifying themselves as such is a violation of law. Accosting patients coming into the ER is unethical at best.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,807
4,715
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What if the patient refuses to pay when contacted through other means? Just stick everyone else with their bill?
 

brandonb

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 2006
3,731
1
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Assuming you're serious, here's "the issue" with it:

1. HIPAA. They have no right to know details about your health problems and any diseases/conditions you have.

2. By law they must identify themselves as debt collectors.

3. Saying "hold on, you need to pay your last bill" is not something you do in the ER. It is a threat to their life; and owing a debt is not justification for threatening one's life.
1. HIPPA does not apply:

Who Can Look at and Receive Your Health Information

HIPPA RULES said:
The Privacy Rule sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information

To make sure that your health information is protected in a way that does not interfere with your health care, your information can be used and shared:
•To pay doctors and hospitals for your health care and to help run their businesses
In other words, if you owe a bill, HIPPA is thrown out the window to help debt collectors and to make sure the doctors and hospitals get paid.

2. Only if they are collecting as a 3rd party debt collector. IE: After the hospital has sent your account to bad debt (collection agency) and it was charged off and placed on your credit report. If its before that time, it's still considered first party, and the hospital may contract out to collection agencies for those bills that are still considered 1st party, and FDCPA no longer applies. FDCPA only applies to 3rd party.

3. If you stole from a store, and went back there, they can refuse service. You can't say "Well, this water or chips is life or death, you have to allow me access to it." Wrong.

Anyways. I work for a bill collection agency that does 1st party and 3rd party in MN, and this article is actually wrong. They mention Fairview Hospital, and we have exclusive contracts with Fairview for both 1st party and 3rd party. And we are not the company listed in this article. So it's just a bunch of bullshit media reporting anyways.
 
Aug 23, 2000
15,513
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1. HIPPA does not apply:

Who Can Look at and Receive Your Health Information



In other words, if you owe a bill, HIPPA is thrown out the window to help debt collectors and to make sure the doctors and hospitals get paid.

2. Only if they are collecting as a 3rd party debt collector. IE: After the hospital has sent your account to bad debt (collection agency) and it was charged off and placed on your credit report. If its before that time, it's still considered first party, and the hospital may contract out to collection agencies for those bills that are still considered 1st party, and FDCPA no longer applies. FDCPA only applies to 3rd party.

3. If you stole from a store, and went back there, they can refuse service. You can't say "Well, this water or chips is life or death, you have to allow me access to it." Wrong.

Anyways. I work for a bill collection agency that does 1st party and 3rd party in MN, and this article is actually wrong. They mention Fairview Hospital, and we have exclusive contracts with Fairview for both 1st party and 3rd party. And we are not the company listed in this article. So it's just a bunch of bullshit media reporting anyways.
So you say you work for a debt collection company, yet you want us to believe anything you say?? Debt collectors are notorious for being liars.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
0
1. HIPPA does not apply:

Who Can Look at and Receive Your Health Information

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPPA RULES
The Privacy Rule sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information

To make sure that your health information is protected in a way that does not interfere with your health care, your information can be used and shared:
&#8226;To pay doctors and hospitals for your health care and to help run their businesses
In other words, if you owe a bill, HIPPA is thrown out the window to help debt collectors and to make sure the doctors and hospitals get paid.
Wrong. Debt collectors != doctors and hospitals.

3. If you stole from a store, and went back there, they can refuse service. You can't say "Well, this water or chips is life or death, you have to allow me access to it." Wrong.
Analogy fail. You can get water, chips, or food in general from many more places than you can get emergency medical care.
 
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Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,916
172
106
What if the patient refuses to pay when contacted through other means? Just stick everyone else with their bill?
Not quite sure what you mean by "other means"?

Typically hospitals try to collect themselves. They will so do for many months.

Afterward, if unsuccessful, the will turn it over to a collection agency.

After they have a shot at it, and they really do want to collect it for you because only then do they get their fee, you can easily go to court.

That's what civil courts are for. After wining a judgement, depending upon the state etc, the debtor's assets can be seized and sold to pay the bill. Also, liens can placed upon them or even their home etc.

Fern
 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,353
1
81
We could throw the patients in the sea. Salt water will cure a lot of things.

Or maybe we should stop with the bull shit that human life has any meaning or dignity and rewrite the Constitution to protect the dollar instead of people.

Medicine will be a lot easier. We'll just need some scotch tape.
Or you could fix the underlying system rather than throwing both patients and physicians under the bus. But that's just my self hate talking.
 

brandonb

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 2006
3,731
1
0
So you say you work for a debt collection company, yet you want us to believe anything you say?? Debt collectors are notorious for being liars.
You can believe whatever you want. And just because I work for a debt collection company doesn't mean I'm a debt collector. I'm actually the one who programs their software.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
0
You can believe whatever you want. And just because I work for a debt collection company doesn't mean I'm a debt collector. I'm actually the one who programs their software.
... which means your job security is at least partly tied to ensuring your customer can continue to buy your product; what's good for debt collection companies is good for you.
 

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