Healthcare expert Christy has a trick for getting rid of medical bills — especially when they’re sent to collection agencies.
Christy, whose TikTok name is Christyprn, is a registered nurse and advocate for patients and healthcare workers.
She has tons of videos educating her 804,000 followers about healthcare and the rights they have.
In a recent TikTok, she broke down the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and its relationship with collection agencies.
FDCPA is an amendment that prohibits collection agencies from engaging in abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices.
The health expert read the entire hundred-page document and shared her findings.
Below are the three tips that can help you pay off your medical debt.
1. Remember the name
The FDCPA comes in handy when you want to contest a claim.
She says if hospitals feel the payments you’re making aren’t appropriate, they can refer them to collection agencies.
The debt collection agency must then inform you that the invoice is now with them.
Once they contact you, the agency is legally required to send you a written letter within five days.
The letter shows you your debt and tells you that you have 30 days to request a debt review.
Just note that if the agency doesn’t send you that letter within the first five days, you can stop there as they just violated the FDCPA.
This will most likely result in them forgiving your debt entirely.
2. Request a confirmation letter
With this letter, you are essentially asking the agency to prove that you really owe the amount they are asking for.
However, this letter is not just a summary of what you owe.
You must prove the following:
- What benefits you have received
- What you were billed for
- how old the debt is
- Your interest payment on the debt
- When was your last payment
Every single thing about the debt has to be verified by the agency.
The two most important parts to prove: you have agreed to pay off the debt and HIPAA proof.
To prove that it is your debt, this means a document with your signature showing that you agree to this amount.
Second, they must have some form of HIPAA clearance form showing they have permission to access your medical records.
Christy suggests sending the letter by registered mail.
This will ensure they receive it since you have printed out the shipping confirmation.
Also, they cannot continue trying to collect your debt until they validate your debt.
She reveals that most of the time these agencies do not have all the required documentation.
3. Another letter
If you don’t get the information you need, send another certified letter proving they didn’t validate your debt.
This is a direct violation of the FDCPA and if they don’t discharge your debt, you will report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
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https://www.the-sun.com/money/5702379/medical-bill-collections/ I’m a Healthcare Professional – My 3 tips for getting rid of a medical bill that’s been sent to collection agencies