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Are Drs. offices allowed to bill you years after the service was provided?

I just received a bill for $620 from the hospital for an ultrasound I had 2.5 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. Insurance won't cover it because they won't review cases older than 1 year. Can they really do this so late? Isn't there some kind of limit to this? I'm absolutely sick right now thinking how I'm going to pay this.

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Elsasmom

Asked by Elsasmom at 1:15 PM on Jan. 28, 2009 in Health

Level 5 (73 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • If someone tried billing me a year after service i'd call them and refuse to pay. It's their responsibility to get the bills out in a timely manner. I would cal them and ask WHY it took so long, and since they waited and insurance wont touch it, your not touching it either. I was mad when my sons pedatrician from his birth tried to bill us 8 months later.
    krazyash023

    Answer by krazyash023 at 1:19 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • The only problem with refusing to pay is that they'll probably screw my credit over it.
    Elsasmom

    Answer by Elsasmom at 1:24 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • I got a bill last week for an ultrasound i had about two years ago too. Luckily mine was just the co-pay, insurance paid most of it but it is still annoying. I would call and talk to them about it, thats dumb.
    Chandra034

    Answer by Chandra034 at 1:24 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • I would call them and tell them, my insurance rejected this because you didn't file it on time. HOWEVER, doctors bill the insurance out of courtesy. They are not required to do that. It is your job as a patient to follow up with insurance. Doctors only do this because they too need to feed their families and pay the people who work for them.
    Also, if you cannot pay, tell them that. Don't refuse to pay. That will just make them mad and send you to collections. You can get it written off, just ask to have it written off as timely.
    SusieD250

    Answer by SusieD250 at 1:41 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • And after they get an answer from the physician, have them call you back to make sure otherwise the physcian may say, "NO, send to collections."
    SusieD250

    Answer by SusieD250 at 1:42 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • Most insurance companies allow a physician or service provider up to 18 months to submit a bill. After that, tough luck for them. However, don't be surprised if they send it to collection to try and scare you. This happened to me and I verified with my insurance their policy for bill submission. Once I found this out, I mentioned it to the doctor's office and called the collection agency. I also mentioned to the billing department at the doctor's office that I would seek an attorney if they continued to send it to collection. It was finally cleared. I also found out that the doctor's office can claim the unpaid amount as a loss on their taxes. So they were able to recup some of their loss.
    dirtymartini1

    Answer by dirtymartini1 at 3:30 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • statuatory of limitations is 7 yrs,that is if they have not contacted you at all if they did then it starts all over again.
    MarGeee

    Answer by MarGeee at 3:46 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • I actually think they can bill you up to 4 years later.
    feesharose

    Answer by feesharose at 3:50 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • They can bill you for a long time. It isn't that. It takes so long to process insurance claims, correct and refile. What you need to find out is when exactly was this orginally filed, was it rejected?, if so, why was it rejected? If it was rejected because YOU gave the wrong information YOU are liable for the bill. IF it was rejected because of an error on the part of the doctor, they are liable for the bill and should write it off as timely.
    I do this. This is what I am trained to do! You have no idea how much money we had to get written off due to a stupid receptionist error when taking all the information down and putting it into the computer. Good luck.
    SusieD250

    Answer by SusieD250 at 5:51 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • Thanks to everyone for the advice. All is well now, the charge had actually been written off due to it being so old and I was billed in error. Phew! I feel like I dodged a bullet!
    Elsasmom

    Answer by Elsasmom at 11:32 AM on Jan. 29, 2009

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