News & Resources

Oklahoma medical services' collection agency has mix-up

Apr 16, 2012 Philip Burgess

The debt collections agency contracted by Tulsa, Oklahoma's Emergency Medical Services Authority has recently received numerous complaints for mistakenly billing patients, The Oklahoman reports. One example is Richard Ross, who was billed by EMSA's Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based collection agency for $541 dollars despite having never visited the hospital, explains Tulsa World. It was later discovered that EMSA confused Ross with another man by the same name, resulting in the mix-up. "When you have a system designed by humans (and) maintained by humans, occasionally, dealing with 100,000 plus accounts, you're going to have mistakes made. It's unavoidable,” said councilman Pat Ryan, as quoted by The Oklahoman. EMSA spokeswoman Kelli Bruer told Tulsa World that the organization makes "multiple attempts over the course of several months" to contact patients prior to sending their information to collections. However, EMSA's agency hasn't proven to be reliable. The Better Business Bureau points out that the company has compiled 90 complaints related to its billing practices thus far. After protesting the bill, Ross eventually reached a settlement with EMSA, and any negative balance reflected on his consumer credit report was removed.