I am so ticked at my dentist's office!

  1. I got a certified letter from my dentist's office on Christmas Eve. They are threatening to take me to court over ~$275. The letter says that I have ten days to pay and that the account is 90 days past due. The problem with all of this is that they never sent me a bill!! I knew my insurance was causing problems, but I never got a bill from their office until I get this letter threatening me with court! I paid my copays at the time of service. I will definitely be sending a letter along with my payment and maybe I'll bill them $8 and send it certified like they did me. I just wish I had a way of making sure that the dentist himself finds out what happened, but I know what gets done with letters. My family will not be continuing care with that office.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    You will get much more cooperation from them if you call the office, or better yet, drop in to discuss this with them. I understand that you are angry over this, but you really want to try to resolve it. Part of the problem here is a failure to communicate. It is not usual for this to happen because of the way the computer billing programs work. I would suggest that before you talk to the dentist's office, you call your dental insurance company and find out what they did or didn't pay on this bill so you know where you stand with them. You did sign an agreement that you were responsible for payment of your bill if the third party (your dental insurance company) didn't pay. If you let this go to court, you will lose and you will have a court judgement on your credit history. You don't want that, do you? Talk to the people over at the dentist's office and forget about letter writing for the moment.

    The reason this letter came by certified mail is because they were unable to reach you for one reason or another and are starting to gather factual proof of no communication from you before they do go to court.
    Last edit by Daytonite on Dec 26, '05
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would bring that letter and PERSONALLY and present to the billing office (or if you must, call) and speak to a live human being about the problem. I would note date/time and person spoken to and the actions taken to resolve problems. FORGET mail or written communication----go directly and be very polite, but also strongly voice the situation as you see and and also make sure they did not report you to a credit reporting agency! These things can happen. I have always been able to resolve them to my satisfaction with proper documentation and communicating with a live human being.

    Good luck. This can be fixed!
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Seems Daytonite and I agree.....I did not see that reply before entering mine.

    BOTTOM LINE:

    get with a LIVE HUMAN BEING and do not stop til this is resolved.

    Make sure you get the NAME of the person working with you and make it clear you are noting details and expect immediate resolution and will do what you can on your end to see that happens.

    GOOD LUCK.
  6. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    I don't have a problem with owing the money or paying the bill, I will do that. I'm just upset that I've never gotten a bill from them. I also don't plan on getting ugly with anybody, but I will state the fact that I haven't gotten a bill and things could have already been taken care of if I had.
  7. by   Daytonite
    You are probably going to find that once a month they hit a button on a computer which then spits out a list of all the bills that are 30 days past due, 90 days past due and 120 days past due. Sending you the letter was probably just part of their procedure for handling this. It may be that someone new has taken over the billing (accounts receivable) and has no knowledge of the facts in your case. It is possible that the dentist doesn't even know this has happened. I've been studying medical billing and coding and one of the things that happens is that accounts waiting for payment by third party insurance get thrown on the back burner until someone comes along and notices the date of service and how long payment has been waiting for. Some billers will contact the insurance company to find out what the hold up is, some go directly to the patient. Sometimes they just decide to do something drastic about it. So, check with the insurance company first, then go and talk to the dentist's office.
  8. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    Daytonite, you're probably right. At this point, I'm just going to pay it and let the whole issue go. I'm pretty sure that's the right amount, I just wish I had been notified sooner than this.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's a mistake clearly NOT of your making. I am so sorry.
  10. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from Daytonite
    You will get much more cooperation from them if you call the office, or better yet, drop in to discuss this with them. I understand that you are angry over this, but you really want to try to resolve it. Part of the problem here is a failure to communicate. It is not usual for this to happen because of the way the computer billing programs work. I would suggest that before you talk to the dentist's office, you call your dental insurance company and find out what they did or didn't pay on this bill so you know where you stand with them. You did sign an agreement that you were responsible for payment of your bill if the third party (your dental insurance company) didn't pay. If you let this go to court, you will lose and you will have a court judgement on your credit history. You don't want that, do you? Talk to the people over at the dentist's office and forget about letter writing for the moment.

    The reason this letter came by certified mail is because they were unable to reach you for one reason or another and are starting to gather factual proof of no communication from you before they do go to court.
    Why would she have a court judgment on her credit record? She told us that she's going to pay the bill.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    IF she pays, she would not have a judgement on her, clearly. But I would not stop there---I would see to it a similar mistake would never be made on MY accounts again, or let them know there are other dentists in the area that want my business. I have had to do this once or twice myself.
  12. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    If the insurance company owes the money, get them on the phone 3-way with the billing person at your dentist office.

    I'm having to do that with the insurance company & my dd's dermatologist.....and a $400 bill. They are trying to charge office visits for light treatments.

    I asked b/4 the treatments about office visits. If I was going to pay $50, IT WOULD BE PER MONTH AT THE TANNIG BOOTH, NOT 3XWK FOR THE DR'S OFFICE!. grrrrrrr!


    So, like I said, get them both on 3-way to get it resolved!
  13. by   Chaya
    I know this goes against what other posters are saying but I have rarely if ever gotten this kind of glitch resolved without a paper trail of certified letters, etc. (DH, however, does always seem to make it all come out right with a single phone call. Go figure).
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    I got a very rude letter from a collection agency stating I owed $23.00 almost a year after having a lumpectomy in out patient surgery.
    Like you I had never received a bill.

    I called. First got the "Call 911 if this is an emergency" hospital recording, then a menu. Twenty minutes later talked with a live person in billing. She admitted that the bill was not sent. I asked her when she could meet with me for payment. I used my credit card, got a receipt, and a copy of the e-mail she sent to that agency.

    How dare an oversite ruin my credit or yours?

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