3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Valley mom pays medical bill; gets billed again

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A Valley woman said she paid off a doctor's bill and as far as she was concerned, she had a zero balance.

She worked out a plan with the doctor's office and negotiated to half the amount but now she says she’s still getting billed.

Vanessa Nieto gets pretty choked up when she recalls what she describes as one of the worst days of her life.

"I went downstairs really quick cause I was getting ready for work, went to grab the bottle and when I turned around from picking up the bottle I heard a tumbling sound and I just saw him coming down," said Nieto.

Nieto is describing how her youngest child, Aiden, who was 2 years old at the time, took a bad fall down the stairs. 

"When I picked him up he was bleeding from his nose and mouth. He was gushing. Blood was everywhere. Called the ambulance and they picked him up and went to Phoenix Children's," said Neito.

Neito said Aiden was diagnosed with a brain injury, a skull fracture, and other serious injuries.

Aiden eventually fully recovered but one of the doctors who treated him sent Neito a bill for $1,300.

"I didn't think that was going to be $1,300 but that's what it came out to," Neito said.

However, Neito contacted the doctor's office and negotiated a plan. If she paid $650 in one lump sum, the doctor's office said the remaining $650 balance would be waived.

Neito said she was grateful and paid $650 like she agreed to do.

However, she got a bill for the remaining half anyway.

"When I got a bill this week it said, 'Correction to previous billing' and it said my new balance is $650."

So, 3 On Your Side got involved and contacted the doctor who treated Aiden.

He acknowledged there was a mix-up made by a third party billing company and told us that Neito will not be getting any more bills and that she should consider the matter resolved.

Neito said she's relieved and glad she won't have to pay any more money to the doctor.

"It'll give me peace of mind because that's just another bill I don't want to go into collections for a bill that I don't think I should have to pay. I have great credit, I don't want that to be on my credit report," Neito said.

It's always a good idea try to negotiate a lower amount with your doctor's office if you agree to pay one lump sum instead of making payments. They don't have to do it, but sometimes it works.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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