13 Investigates


Billing debacle sends 96-year-old woman to collections

Posted at 5:54 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 21:12:44-05

There are a lot of medical bills owed by Americans. By some estimates, there are close to 43 million people across the country who owe an average of nearly $1,800.

Some medical care entities will offer a 'prompt payment discount' for bills which are paid in full within a certain time frame.

Irene Lupinski, 96, recently needed to visit the hospital. Her back was acting up and her daughter summoned an AMR ambulance.

As it turns out, Irene was suffering from a pinched nerve. Soon after her ambulance ride, she received a bill for $150.

"If I would pay it within so many days, it would be $135 and that is what I mailed into them," said Lupinski.

The bill was knocked down by 10% or $15 for her prompt payment within 30 days. Irene cut a check for $135 in her perfect penmanship and sent it away to AMR in the mail. Soon after, the check cleared her account.

Days later, another invoice came in the mail for the remaining $15.

"If I paid it in full within so many days, it would be $13.50," said Lupinski.

Irene fired off a letter to AMR to explain this billing debacle. Irene's daughter Judy did the same but both say they did not hear back.

Soon after, another notice arrived in the mail: Irene had been sent to a collection company for the unpaid $15 balance.
"I just hope it doesn't happen to other people," said Irene.

Contact 13 informed AMR about the bill problem and a spokesperson confirms Irene was correct. The spokesperson said it was a billing error on the part of the billing department based in California.

A spokesperson adds the company is taking Irene out of collections and they are working to address what caused the error so that it does not happen again.
If you have a similar billing issue regarding a prompt pay discount within Las Vegas or surrounding area in Nevada, you may email Damon Schilling, Government Affairs Manager at damon.schilling@amr.net

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