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How to dispute a doctors bill?

Memphis, TN |

How do you defend against a doctor bill dispute? I know when you don't pay they send it to collections, but how do you dispute the bill if the doctor doesn't take you to court? There's got to be something in place to let people dispute their bills without it going to collections then on your credit just because the doctor says you owe something.

I've already called and talked to a couple different people at the office.

The last person I spoke with had made a statement of It's just XX amount, just go ahead and pay it. I had to then explain again that I wasn't going to pay it because I didn't owe it. I told the office person that we need to go before a judge and let him decide. They said they wouldn't take me to court over it that they'd just send it to collections.

Attorney Answers 1


This question would be better answered by one of the collections attorneys, but if you legitimately dispute that you own the money, you need to make that clear in response to any collection agency contact. You should respond in writing to the collection attempt specifically disputing the bill and keep a copy of the letter. You should also consult with an attorney who handles collection issues as they may send a letter the doctor and collection agency demanding proof of the debt.

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The attorney would cost more than the doctors bill. So that's not an option. I guess the question is, who decides if the debt is legitimate? I told the doctors office that we need to go before a judge and let him decide. But they said they weren't going to sue me. So, if they don't sue me, then I don't see how I can defend it and keep it off my credit report. I paid the charge in full up front by the full price they gave me at the time of the visit. But I guess they later decided to charge me more because the person who had given me the price didn't get that price authorized by the doctor first. So their screw up, but they want me to pay for it anyways. I guess they are used to dealing with insurance companies and having them pay whatever they say is owed.

Robert Nance Nicholson

Robert Nance Nicholson


I cannot give you specific legal advice regarding your matter. As a general matter, however, if you agreed to a price, and then they changed the price after services were rendered, they should not be able to collect the higher amount. If they are not willing to sue for the balance, then I would recommend making a specific written denial that you owe the alleged debt. I am not a collections lawyer, and the laws in your state may be different, so I strongly encourage you to seek the advice of an attorney in your state familiar with these issues. Robert N. Nicholson, Esq. Nicholson & Eastin, LLP 707 NE Third Ave. Suite 301 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 P: 954-634-4400 F: 954-634-4418 Pursuant to federal regulations imposed on practitioners who render tax advice ("Circular 230"), we are required to advise you that any tax advice contained herein is not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service. If this advice is or is intended to be used or referred to in promoting, marketing or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement, the regulations under Circular 230 require that we advise you as follows: (1) this writing is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on a taxpayer; (2) the advice was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed by the written advice; and (3) the taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS TRANSMISSION IS ATTORNEY PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL. IT IS INTENDED FOR THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY NAMED ABOVE. ANY ATTACHMENTS TO THIS TRANSMISSION ARE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF CONVEYING THE DIRECT WRITTEN AND COMMONLY VISIBLE COMMUNICATION CONTAINED THEREIN. NO TRANSMISSION OF UNDERLYING CODE OR METADATA IS INTENDED. USE OF ANY ATTACHMENT FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN RECEIPT OF THE DIRECT WRITTEN COMMUNICATION CONTAINED THEREIN IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. IF THE READER OF THIS MESSAGE IS NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT ANY DISSEMINATION, DISTRIBUTION OR COPY OF THIS COMMUNICATION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN ERROR, PLEASE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY AND RETURN THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE TO THE SENDER. THANK YOU.