Texas patients and their families are paying a lot more for medical care these days than they ever have before. Higher insurance premiums, increased copays and deductibles, and more frequent out-of-network charges are resulting in record levels of medical debt. Even a single visit to the emergency room can result in a devastating bill, and for patients with a significant or chronic illness, the out-of-pocket costs can be astronomical even with the best insurance coverage. This has led to more and more medical debt collection in Texas.
Many patients are struggling to keep up with the bills that follow their care, and also confused when it comes to understanding what they actually paying for. Hospital bills in particular are notoriously difficult to interpret. The wide range of diagnostic codes used and the number of line-item charges for even the simplest visit make it near impossible to figure out whether the charges are accurate or fair. Inaccurate billing is also a rampant problem in the medical industry that results in many patients paying more than they should.
Despite the important role that the medical industry plays in maintaining our health and longevity, its debt collection practices are at times no more fair or reasonable than creditors in other fields. People with the most significant levels of medical debt – often resulting from chronic illness, a life-saving treatment, or a major hospitalization – are often surprised to find little assistance or compassion from their medical providers when the bills come due.
You may have already experienced some of the following issues in dealing with your medical debt collection, including:
- Creditors who will not allow payments on the debt at all, insisting they can only accept the full amount owed
- Creditors unwilling to offer an affordable payment plan or a reduced settlement based on your current income and circumstances
- Billing mistakes the creditor refuses to research or correct
- Overcharges due to administrative mistakes or deceptive practices such as surprise billing
- Multiple itemized charges from a single doctor or hospital visit referred to collections as individual debts, escalating collection action against you
- Medical bills from years past that are illegally re-aged by a creditor or third-party debt buyer in order to resume collection activity once the statute of limitations has expired
- Threats of a lawsuit over a relatively small amount owed to a doctor, hospital, nursing home, or another medical provider, or an actual lawsuit in process
- Inaccurate credit reporting of medical debt and payments made toward it, lowering your credit score
- Given the variety of issues patients encounter while trying to cope with their bills and deal with their medical creditors, it’s no surprise that medical debt is driving more Texans than ever to seek bankruptcy protection.
It’s best to consult an attorney before taking such a drastic step, because you may have options such as debt settlement that will be less damaging to your credit. By law, a bankruptcy filing can remain on your credit report for ten years, and its impact on your life can be significant if you are denied a home loan, car loan, or even a job due to the hit your credit score will take.
Regardless of the type of medical bills you have or how long you’ve owed on them, you don’t have to face your creditors alone.
Our legal team can stop the endless collection calls and demands for payment, and negotiate a resolution that is both fair and final. But most importantly, we can take the worry and burden of dealing with your medical creditors off of your shoulders, and help you resolve your debt in the manner that best fits your budget and circumstances.
We will also work to ensure the amount you are being asked to pay matches the care and services you received. Our medical billing experts will review your statements for accuracy, addressing mistakes and challenging suspicious charges that could be inflating the total amount you owe.
Common medical billing issues we can spot and correct include:
- Coding and documentation errors that lead to overcharges for office visits, procedures and surgeries, labwork, medications, equipment and supplies, and third-party personnel or services
- Missing documentation required to justify the charges billed
- Issues with insurance coverage, billing, authorizations, and denials
- Insurance payments or copayments not yet applied to the account
- Outdated or misleading information provided to the patient from healthcare providers or insurance providers regarding in-network vs. out-of-network personnel and services
- Charges billed to the wrong patient, or mistakenly billed to multiple patients
When you hire the J. Gannon Helstowski Law Firm for medical debt collection:
An attorney and paralegal will be assigned to your case. Work will begin immediately and we will keep you informed of our progress. We do not waste time with form letters hoping a creditor responds. We will contact your medical creditor directly, obtain all billing records and other documentation needed, and begin negotiating favorable terms to resolve your debt.
Creditors and debt collectors will no longer contact you. Once you hire an attorney, the law states that creditors and their debt collectors must speak and deal only with your attorney. This means those annoying collection phone calls will end, and no more threatening letters will be sent to your home or business.
If you have garnishments or liens, we will quickly address them. If the creditor has filed a wage garnishment or bank account lien against you, we will immediately begin working to have it released. We will negotiate with the creditor on your behalf and resolve the situation as soon as possible.
We will help you create an effective hardship letter. Our legal team will work with you to create a hardship letter that documents the reasons why creditors should consider your personal circumstances in determining a payment plan or even settling the debt for less than the amount originally owed. A good hardship letter gives details of a job loss, divorce, medical issues, or other events out of the ordinary that inhibit your ability to pay the full amount due.
We will make sure your credit report lists the debt paid in full. Once the debt is resolved, credit-reporting bureaus are required to note the debt as paid in your credit report. That does not always happen, however, so we will monitor your credit report for accuracy, and ensure the correction is made to your credit file if an error exists.
Your rights will be protected. If we discover that a creditor or debt collector has taken actions against you that violate consumer protection laws, we will use every legal means required to address the situation. We can even file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.
Services / Free Consultation
For our fees we will:
- Obtain the necessary documents to evaluate your situation
- Evaluate the documents compared to your scenario and help render an opinion
- Help the you enforce your rights as to the debt collection / credit reporting.
- If desired, approach the lender to see if a settlement can be made that is favorable to our your goals of credit reporting and ending possible legal liabilities.
The above fees do not include the filing of a lawsuit against the creditor.