Many people assume that because of HIPAA, their medical bills are private and therefore can’t be turned over to a private collection agency.
However, that is incorrect. Your medical bills can be turned over to debt collectors. The debt collector is not supposed to get your entire medical history, though. The doctor is only allowed to disclose the minimum amount of information necessary in order to collect your debt. Therefore, if a debt collector calls you demanding to know where the $4,000 is that is owed for your colonoscopy, your privacy rights have been violated.
Medical bills can also appear on your credit report. Doctors or hospitals, or other unpaid medical providers, can inform the credit bureaus of your name, address, date of birth, account number, Social Security number, your payment history and the name and address of which health care provider you owe money. A study by the Federal Reserve found that half of all collections on credit reports were actually for medical bills that weren’t paid.
If your rights have been violated give us a call at (877) 449-8898.