3 On Your Side

Old paid medical bill haunts couple 2 years later

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Roger McKee kept all of his paperwork, including a copy of the check from the insurance company. (Source: 3TV) Roger McKee kept all of his paperwork, including a copy of the check from the insurance company. (Source: 3TV)

A Mesa man and his wife thought they had perfect credit. It was not until they went house hunting that they discovered they were in collections for a medical bill. 

This medical bill was from 2013, and there was a problem with it back then, but that problem had been resolved.  Or so they thought.

Roger McKee and his wife, Teresa, are busy fixing up their home to sell so they can move out of state.

"I'm a nurse practitioner and I'm going to be transferring to Warrington, OR," McKee said.

But their big move hit a wall because while they were looking at homes to buy up in Oregon, they found out they had a blemish on their credit report.
That blemish is a supposedly unpaid medical bill from a few years ago.

"My wife fell and hit her head, had a concussion was knocked unconscious," McKee said. "I took her to Mercy Gilbert Hospital's emergency department where she was seen." 

At the time of the accident, Roger says even called ahead and asked if Mercy Gilbert Hospital was in-network with his insurance plan.
The hospital was so he was shocked when he later got a $1,087 bill from Premier Emergency Medical Specialists, the physicians who were in the emergency room at Mercy Gilbert and treated McKee's wife.

"The hospital is contracted, correct. However, the ER group is not and there was no disclaimer to such," McKee explained.

You read that right. Although the hospital is in McKee's insurance network, Premier Emergency Medical Specialists is not.
McKee said he complained to the doctors' group, saying that shouldn't be his problem. He said he and the doctors' group came to an agreement as a result.

"We questioned why Blue Cross Blue Shield didn't pay the bill, and they told us that well they're not contracted so therefore Blue Cross Blue Shield will pay you," McKee said. "When they send you the check, send us that check and we'll accept that as payment in full."

McKee said that's exactly what he did. He received a $289 check from Blue Cross Blue Shield, the amount they agreed to pay, and he forwarded it to Premier Emergency Medical Specialists as instructed. 
McKee said he considered the matter a done deal.

When he and his wife were trying to qualify for a new house in Oregon, he learned otherwise.

"Approximately two years later we're going to try and purchase a new home, and we find this item on our credit report," McKee said.

Things deteriorated from there, according to McKee. Although he saved all the documentation proving the bill was paid and matter resolved, he said no one from Premier Emergency Medical Specialists seemed interested in reviewing his paperwork or fixing the problem.
Even the insurance check McKee forwarded was never properly credited to his account.

"They made the mistake. but we're the ones paying for it, and the sad thing is, simple communication could resolve the issue," he said.

3 On Your Side contacted Premier Emergency Medical Specialists, told them we had reviewed all of McKee's paperwork and advised the company to do so, as well.
Not only did the company look into the issue, a representative discovered the mistake and immediately cleared up McKee's account.
Premier Emergency Medical Specialists also said it will contact the three major credit bureaus to remove the blemish from the McKees' credit report.
McKee said it's been a frustrating, uphill battle, but he sure is glad 3 On Your Side was able to clear things up.

"Well they wouldn't listen to me, so thanks to 3 On Your Side; they started to listen and realized they made a mistake and took corrective action," he said.

One key thing McKee did right was keeping the original paperwork.
He had a copy of the original check and everything he needed to prove the issue had been resolved.
It's a good reminder to file stuff like that away.

Copyright 2015 3TV (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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