Lab Billing Practices
HICKSVILLE -- On March 3, 2011 I was seen by a private physician, who requested labs from Sunrise Medical Laboratories. Apparently, Sunrise billed my old health insurance carrier, BC/BS, for the lab services. My employer switched to an Aetna PPO effective January 1, 2009.
Sunrise, apparently, sent notices to my former address at ……. I moved from that town more than 2 years ago. I checked with my private physician and he has my current address insurance information on file. The office surmised that Sunrise may have taken the billing information from the computer in the specimen room that was not updated.
Sunrise subsequently sent my account to Paul Michael Associates, a collections agency located in Flushing, NY and the agency promptly submitted an adverse credit report to the credit bureaus.
Upon receiving notice of the adverse credit report I called Paul Michael. The representative had no details and asked me to contact Sunrise Medical. She flatly refused to provide a contact number or the name of a person at the lab.
I located the contact number for the Sunrise Labs billing office in Hicksville and explained the issue to a female representative. She was extremely unhelpful and unsympathetic, blamed the physician’s office for providing the incorrect billing information with the callous retort “you have to deal with the collections agency”
A second call to the Paul Michael and they again referred me to Sunrise Labs. Another call to Sunrise Labs and they sent me back to the collections agency.
Upon receipt of the standard denial from BC/BS that the service was provided after termination of the policy the usual and customary billing practice is to ascertain the correct insurance information. A routine call to North Shore would have shown that my insurance carrier has changed. But Sunrise acted with reckless disregard for my credit and simply handed my account to Paul Michael.
I provided my correct insurances to both Sunrise and Paul Michael on December 15, 2011. To date (4/2/12) my insurance has not been billed and my credit unresolved.
I called Sunrise today and they referred me to the collections agency. The agency said that they sent the bill to Aetna. Aetna said that they never received the bill... and the issue is unresolved.