7 On Your Side

Hospital co-pay confusion a headache for new parents

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A San Francisco couple was overjoyed when they brought home their first baby, but rather than celebrating all the joys of the first year of their baby's life, they spent their time dealing with a billing error that went on for a year.

Anar Hooper could not contain her joy the day she gave birth to her daughter, Aryana. She and her husband say the care was exemplary at California Pacific Medical Center.

Six months later they received the bill -- a co-pay of $993. Anar paid the bill online using a credit card, so she was surprised when the couple received a letter from a collections agency saying they stilled owed the money.

Anar figured it was some mistake. She faxed over her credit card statement proving she had paid. However, the problem didn't go away.

The demands kept coming. Anar kept sending proof of payment. All the while little Aryana was growing up; learning to sit, and then walk. Feed her and talk. She turned 15 months old and collectors were still coming.

Anar contacted 7 On Your Side. We contacted California Pacific Medical Center. Within days, the hospital found that missing payment, saying, "When CPMC management was alerted to Ms. Hooper's payment issue by 7 On Your Side, we immediately took steps to research and resolve the issue. Our internal investigation revealed...a computer error which led to the payment not being posted correctly, resulting in a referral to collections...Ms. Hooper is a valued CPMC patient and we regret the inconvenience that she has experienced."

Not only did the hospital fully credit her account, it refunded that $993 payment.

Despite the billing problems, the Hoopers had nothing but praise for the doctors and nurses at CPMC. The hospital says their story prompted changes to prevent another billing mistake.

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Tags:
california pacific medical center, parenting, health care, health insurance, 7 on your side, michael finney
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