Follow-up to Learn from my mistake: DON’T PRE-PAY BALANCE OF MEDICAL BILL

After posting my experience on this blog, I called my mother and summarized what had happened.  She advised me to contact the credit card company.  What?  I charged the bill on 30 March 2012 which USAA received on 31 March 2012.  And I already paid the amount owed.  My mother said the credit card company may dispute the overpayment on my behalf.  Hmmm, worth a try.

And, USAA has accepted the dispute!  I will get something in writing next week and will have to follow-up with my documentation.

But I wasn’t done.  There must be some government agency where I can lodge a complaint.  I don’t know the ins and outs of the local government, so I began with a prominent council member who has overseen a lot of medical services overhaul in the District of Columbia.  I spoke with a staff member of this council member.  He, in turn, referred me to the Office of the Attorney General.

I called the office and left a voice mail message.  I didn’t expect to receive a call back until 24 hours.  An hour later, I decided to log my complaint online.  In the middle of typing that complaint, I received a call from the Office of the Attorney General.  I thanked the employee for returning my call and explained that I was filling out the complaint form online. She encouraged me to finish that task and advised someone would call me later.

In filling out the complaint form I noted the account numbers on the receipt of the pre-payment on 30 March 2012 and the invoice stating that I owe $212.55 are virtually identical (on the latter, the string of numbers is preceded by two letters).  I also explained to the Office of the Attorney General that I have had tests at other hospital in the District of Columbia, such as Sibley and Georgetown, and neither hospital has asked me, as an insured patient, to pre-pay a medical bill.

Between the Better Business Bureau, my credit card company and the Office of the Attorney General, I hope Providence Hospital acknowledges its mistake and refunds me $215.34 ASAP.  If not, on to Small Claims Court!

Do you remember the commercial for Promise Margarine (I believe)  and a voice over would say, “It is not nice to fool with Mother Nature.”  Well, I hope I have demonstrated, when it comes to money, especially when you as an institution or business or individual are dishonest, The Money Heifer won’t rest until money matters are set right!

Will keep you posted 🙂


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