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Archive for Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lawrence Memorial Hospital apologizes for erroneous billing letters

June 11, 2014

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A billing company working on behalf of Lawrence Memorial Hospital recently mailed out more than 5,000 erroneous letters to patients informing them that their accounts were moving toward collections.

The hospital says it asked the company, Columbia, S.C.-based AMCOL Systems, to send follow-up calls and letters informing patients of the mistake. LMH has ceased doing business with the company and is in the process of finding a new vendor.

"Nobody's credit score or credit rating is going to be impacted by anything that happened with this letter," said LMH chief financial officer Joe Pedley. "Absolutely none of that will be reported to any credit-reporting agency."

He said that in the changing health care landscape, hospitals like LMH work with so-called early-out vendors like AMCOL Systems to attempt to collect debts sooner.

"With reduced payments from the government, we have to collect what we can as quickly as we can. And patient responsibilities are going up because of increased deductibles and copayments," he said.

Pedley said the letters were sent out May 28 as a result of a computer programming error by AMCOL Systems — the company hadn't returned a call for comment as of midday Wednesday — and that the hospital worked quickly to rectify the problem.

"LMH really values our relationship with our patients," he added. "We apologize and hope that this doesn't have an impact on our patients' trust of us."

Comments

Linda and Bill Houghton 7 months, 3 weeks ago

We made monthly payments for twelve years. We weren't really aware of what the closing date for our account was and one time we made a payment too early. The next month we got an overdue statement. This was our fault, but the lady that handled our transaction understood what had happened and took the overdue flag off of our account. That was certainly appreciated.

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