How could I fight a bill that was sent to me mistakenly? 16 Answers as of May 12, 2015

Please read and respond to my question, and I may hire you. I went to the doctor about a problem, and while I was there, I agreed to have certain blood tests done but not others. Six months later, I got a bill for the tests I agreed to have done as well as those I said I did not want. Since I specifically told the doctor I did not want those tests done, I feel I should not have to pay for them. I have tried everything I can think of to fix the bill. I have talked to the doctor and his office 5 times, I have talked to the company that did the tests and sent me the bill 3 times, and no one will take responsibility for it. I just tried one last time to get my doctor to pay for it, and he refuses. What do I do? The bill is for $324. Would it be more expensive to sue him than pay it?

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
I agree. Send the bill back with a check for the uncontested tests, and an explanatory letter (keep a copy) telling why you will not pay for the other tests. If there is a lawsuit, present the letter as evidence of your conversation with the doctor. Since he did not respond to it, you can argue that he acquiesced to your letter.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/12/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Unless you went to small claims court it would be more expensive to sue him than pay it. You could ignore it and see if it goes away.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/12/2015
Goldstein and Peck. P.C.
Goldstein and Peck. P.C. | William J. Kupinse, Jr
An issue which must be considered in determining whether or not to hire an attorney in a particular matter is whether or not it will be cost-effective. If the amount in dispute is relatively small and it will cost more to use an attorney than the amount in question, from a practical financial standpoint a person is probably better off not hiring an attorney. The exception is, of course, if you are willing to pay more than the amount in dispute to the attorney as a matter of principle.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/12/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
You ask how you can fight this bill, but you are already doing a good job at it. Document everything. Write down everything you can piece together about when you talked to the dr.'s office and the lab, who you talked to, etc. Next,: don't pay. The lab will keep sending you bills, and every time they do, respond with a protest letter and of course keep a copy. They will probably send the account to a collection agency, which will send you a letter giving you 30 days to respond. This may seem redundant, but keep protesting, in writing, keeping copies. If they keep at it, the next step will be for them to hire collection lawyers, and again, keep up the protest as before. Ultimately, they may sue you in small claims court. Respond point-by-point, send it in to the law firm and the court, and then when the court date comes, show up with all your documentation and you will have your say with the judge. They may give up before that happens, though.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/12/2015
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
He is the one who wants money from you......so why would you need to sue him? If he sues you, just defend the case by reiterating that you not only did not authorize the tests, you specifically told him you didn't want the tests. I would also threaten to sue him for defamation of credit if these outstanding bills get reported to a credit company and it impairs your credit.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/12/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Has your Dr. said you authorized the test or you did not object to it? ?What reason does he give for not telling the testing company he was at fault [or was it the testing company that made the mistake?]. ?Get a copy of the order for the testing to see who was at fault. ?Tell both in writing why you refuse to pay. ask the Dr. for a copy of his records for the day you saw him to see what it says about the need for the tests and whether they were ordered. ?Were the tests not related to your condition or unnecessary [Dr.s sometimes order tests that are not really necessary to avoid malpractice suits]. You will have the problem that it may be their word against yours. Your options are to pay the bill and then sue in Small Claims Court [costs about $35 and Dr. will send his office manager because he would lose more in patient charges, but maybe you can convince the judge that the office manager has no knowledge of what you agreed to so should not be allowed to testify, but the judges often allow such hearsay testimony [see some books on Small Claims court, such as Nolo Press]. ?The plaintiff has the burden of proof and the judge will likely assume the Dr. is a more reliable witness than you as a patient are]. ?Or you can refuse to pay, let the billing company sue you and you cross-complain against the Dr. and hope the judge says he/she has no way of knowing who is correct. Even if you hire an attorney to write a short letter, it would cost at least $150-$200 and would not be worthwhile to hire anyone. ?You can offer to settle. ?I assume you have no medical insurance coverage for the billing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    Hiring an attorney for a $324 dispute is not cost effective. You can sue him in small claims court. You may also be able to file a complaint with the State medical board. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Write the company a letter saying you didn't authorize it and are not going to pay it. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Actually, it's the lab which will have to do the suing. It's a small claims case (no lawyers allowed).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You would not sue him he would see you if he wants to collect. A proper and aggressive letter from a lawyer should end the discussion and stop the doctor from billing you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Probably more expensive to sue him. Is here proof of your choosing which tests to have done? Have you reviewed your chart at the doctor's office? This may tell you more. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    There is too little at stake to engage an attorney, send the company a letter stating the test were not order or authorized and you are only paying for those which were authorized. I would not be surprised if a suit would be too expensive for them as well, but they will report you to the credit ratings companies. You will need a letter of explanation. My best advice would be to attempt to compromise, if necessary pay the bill and preserve your credit rating.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Pursuing a lawsuit in small claims court is your option, but not worth the time, money and aggravation. Pay the bill and change doctors.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    On small claims? No.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    You can sue any/all of the above in Small Claims Court for less than the cost of the bill. It seems that the doctor authorized testing that you refused.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2015
    Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
    Yes, it would be more expensive to fight it legal than it worth. Did you put the test you would pay for in writing? If not then it you word again his. You could try small claims court but without written evidence before the test were done then it will be whoever the judge believes.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/11/2015
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