Hospital's billing

Dear Editor:Will Downey Regional Medical Center ever get its accounting department straightened out? I went to the emergency room and spent a day in the hospital in March, 2009. When I was discharged I was given a bill and told I must pay it before leaving, even though I explained that I was sure that after insurance my portion would be smaller. I was assured that if I was due a refund there wouldn't be a problem receiving it so I made a $600 payment. As expected, I am due a refund of $359.80. In April, I had a procedure done and after insurance I owed $52.40. Since I knew I had a credit due, I didn't pay that bill. When I received the next bill I contacted the billing agency and after many, many attempts spoke to a person. Since then I have faxed information, made repeated phone calls and then was told on Oct. 30 that all refunds have been frozen until further notice and to be patient. Each time I was told that a notation of the contact was made in my records. Today (Nov. 20) I received a notice that the account has been sent to a credit agency, my credit reporting can be ruined and I might be charged interest and penalties. This type of bad business practice has been going on at Downey Regional for as long as I can remember. Isn't it time that it be resolved? It is sad that people are being threatened and intimidated into paying money that truly isn't owed! - Sandra Parent, Downey

********** Published: November 27, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 32