Patients say hospital is suing for unpaid medical bills they never received
LA PORTE, Ind. --- Current and former patients claim they have been struggling for years with billing issues at La Porte Hospital.
Several patients have now been served with a lawsuit after they said they never received a bill in the first place, according to Kim Mullican, a former patient.
Nearly 200 people took to Facebook to express frustration with the billing system. Some said the issues began several years ago.
“In 1989, so it goes back that far,” said Carol Young, a former patient.
“The first time I had a problem with billing in La Porte hospital was in 2001 when my son was born,” said Mullican.
Young once received a bill from La Porte Hospital that was addressed to a woman in Rochester, NY.
Young contacted the woman in question who claimed she had no knowledge of why the bill would have been delivered to Young because she had never even been to Indiana.
“She looked into it and called me back thanking me for alerting her to the problem,” said Young. “She doesn’t know how her stuff in Rochester got all the way in La Porte, Indiana.”
When Young was married, herself and her then-husband were sent straight to a debt collector for his sister’s medical bill, according to Young.
“When I was married, they tried taking my ex-husband and I to collections for one of his sister’s bills,” said Young.
The sister was over the age of 21 and the pair had never been legal guardians of the woman, according to Young.
Young received several notifications that she had been sent to a collections agency, despite ever receiving a bill, according to Young.
Kim Mullican experienced a similar situation and has now been served with a lawsuit over a bill she said she never received.
“I didn’t know what it was for until I got to court and the lawyer handed me the proof of debt and itemized statement,” said Mullican.
Mullican said she would have paid the bill two years ago if La Porte Hospital had only sent her a bill.
Mullican was in court on December 10th and said it is difficult to receive a small claims lawsuit just ahead of the holidays for a bill she did not know she had.
“It’s already a difficult time and to have the extra pressure on and just… you know, it feels pretty awful,” said Mullican.
La Porte Hospital issued the following statement in response:
“At La Porte Hospital, we are committed to supporting our patients in all aspects of their care. If a patient has a question or concern about their billing, we encourage them to contact our Business Office, toll free, at 844-817-9800, Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. eastern time and on Fridays between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. eastern time. Billing issues originating before March 2016 will need to be addressed by IU Health, the prior owner of La Porte Hospital.”