3 On Your Side

Phoenix woman forced to pay medical bill twice

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Patterson said she was told she overpaid but then was asked to pay twice. (Source: 3TV) Patterson said she was told she overpaid but then was asked to pay twice. (Source: 3TV)
Abrazo Medical Group said Patterson's check went to collections instead of the insurance group. (Source: 3TV) Abrazo Medical Group said Patterson's check went to collections instead of the insurance group. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Ruth Patterson is retired and tries to maintain her health by walking her dog, Dixie. And, when it comes to staying fit, Patterson says she doesn't mind getting a check-up every once in a while, at her doctor's office.

"I'm pretty proactive with my health," Patterson said.

And, just a few months ago, Patterson says she went to her doctor's office, which is owned and operated by Abrazo Medical Group. 

Although her appointment was paid for, Patterson says Abrazo later mailed her a letter saying they had been overpaid for some reason and mailed her a check for $94. 

"If it said why (money was being refunded), I don't remember or know why I was receiving it but I was thinking okay, $94, that's great," Patterson said.

Patterson says she deposited the money, only to get another notice from Abrazo.

"I got a notice that said they had given me the money in error and they wanted it returned," Patterson said.

So, Patterson got on bill pay, drafted a check for $94 and mailed it off. She says that should have been the end of it but it wasn't.  

“They sent it to collections,” Patterson said.

Patterson says she has spent hours trying to convince Abrazo Medical Group that she doesn't owe the money and finally contacted 3 On Your Side.

“Well, I contacted you, Gary Harper, because I know you get things done," Patterson said.

Abrazo Medical Group looked into the matter and after investigating the matter for 3 On Your Side, they sent us a statement saying, they "...found her payment of $94 remained uncredited because it was mailed to an alternate P.O. Box than the one we currently use."

Not only did they remove the mistake from collections, but Patterson says Abrazo's CEO called her personally to apologize.

"When you can get the President or CEO of a company to call you over a $94 bill, it shows you right there the power of 3 On Your Side and Gary Harper,”  Patterson said.

Abrazo tells 3 On Your Side the issue was never reported to the three credit bureaus, so Patterson’s credit will not be affected.

Copyright 2017 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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