HIPAA and medical billing
Aug 14, 2013
I was livid today when a hospital I had just paid my break the bank balance of $66.46 called my employer to inquire when I was going to settle the bill. They never called me, I paid on time, and they brought a recent hospital visit to my bosses attention. That did double duty of making him concerned I was hiding an illness (as HIV is completely my business) and planted the false impression I'm negligent on my bills. I brought up how invasive it was as well as completely unnecessary and the rep on the phone was defensive and wrong by insisting it was completely within the law to discuss my medical bills with my boss. I asked for her supervisor who apologized and said my work number would be removed from my chart but I still feel unresolved and personally violated. What are the rules on this? Thanks.
Response from Mr. Chambers
I agree with all you have said. That is unconscionable. If the only discussion was the bill and they didn't go into the why of the hospital stay, I don't believe they violated any confidentiality laws, but you may want to double check with a legal services agency.
I would suggest you file a formal complaint with the hospital administrator and ask for the procedure policy on collecting debts which they will be reluctant to give if they were following their policy. If you want you may also be able to complain to your state's office that handles medical licensing and/or the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation at this site.
Good luck, Jacques
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