Question of billing with recent Urgent Care?

I broke my clavicle one month ago and had to go to the urgent care for treatment. I was uninsured and went to a urgent care center nearby my home called The Lakewood Regional Center. In short, I only was seen by a nurse practitioner for 5 minutes, then taken for x-rays, and finally given a sling while being told that's all they could do. I felt the visit to the urgent care was a completely waste of time.

Anyway, I am a student and living alone so I told the hospital if they can bill it. However, I had money saved for a good chunk of my tuition for when I transfer to a university next year and decided that I can pay off the bill with that so I do not need to worry about a bill and it hurting my credit score.

I called the hospitals billing department and asked what I owed since I had yet to receive the bill one month later. The person over the phone told me I owed approximately $600. Having knowledge of AB774 and Californias Fair Pricing Act, I asked if I can have my bill discounted, also adding that I will be paying it infull, cash. The person over the phone STATED that my bill has been slashed from $2,000 already, and that $600 is the lowest they can go. Hearing this, I was content with what I had to pay and decided to go pay in full. When I go to the billing department I talk to the "billing curator". He tells me I owe a balance of $600, and that's it. He comments saying I will getting billed separately for the physician and x-ray bill. I was confused by this because I was told by the person over the phone that all I owed for the visit was $600 down from $2000. Also, that means I was paying 600 dollars for just the facility? It didn't make sense so that curator tells me that if I pay the 600, my outstanding balance with the hospital will be paid in full. I pay and he writes on the receipt that the visit was paid in full.

The problem is when I came home, I had a letter in the mail for $1000 from the physician group. I do not know if I have to pay this or not, since I believed the $600 I paid for was more than enough for the services I received. If I do have to pay, do I have a case for me not to? I really can not afford the extra $1000, and I feel the hospital tricked me into forcing me to pay the facility fee with the knowledge that I am paying the whole visit in full.

Update:

Before paying I asked the curator if I'm paying for everything: physician fee, x-ray fee, and hospital fee. He stated that yes, everything is being fully paid for. The reason for this is because under my balance of $580 it says "ttl chrgs: $1,980" and he seemed confused by that. I told him of my conversation with the person on the phone and the curator said "oh then that must be your total charge, fee's and all"

From my understanding $580 is a really high price to charge for a facility charge to visit the urgent care. Also on my receipt the curator didn't write "payed for hospital stay" it says "paid for ER visit IN FULL"

1 Answer

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  • 9 years ago

    He told you that your balance "with the hospital" will be paid in full. The physician's bill is not part of the balance with the hospital. He told you the truth.

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