Chandler man says medical bills 'cut deep' for surgery he never had

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

An East Valley man says it's his name that has accidentally got him into a huge financial problem.

"It's Jose Angel Perez, very common name."


And while his name may be fairly common, the billing problem he has isn't.

Perez says he's pretty healthy and hasn't needed any kind of medical treatment at all. And wants to know why he’s getting billed thousands of dollars for gallbladder surgery, a surgery he's never had.

"Typically they do laparoscopic surgery. They go around in this area and they have to go through and you'll probably have multiple scars but I have no scars."

Earlier this year, Perez started getting late notices from Banner Health South Hospital in Tucson for that mysterious surgery.

Then things got worse when more medical bills kept coming. In fact, they total about $3,000.

Perez says he tried explaining that he wasn't the right guy but no one would listen.

"They're saying I owe all this stuff."

Turns out, another man with Perez’s exact same name and date of birth was racking up those bills. But for some reason, they were going to this Jose Perez instead.

"I think you have the wrong person, they said no you're Jose Angel Perez your birth date is 1-18 and I said I think you guys need to give me more information."

It's not the first time Perez has had a problem with someone having his name and birth date.

Two years ago, while going through a background check for his employer, he says he actually had to obtain a letter from the FBI as proof that he had "No prior arrest data."

"I had to get a letter from the FBI with a fingerprint and had to send this back to this agency with a copy of my ID letting them know they have the wrong person."

And if things aren't bad enough already, Perez says his medical insurance has already paid a portion of the other guy's medical bills.

So 3 On Your Side got involved and we asked Banner to look into the situation. The hospital did and eventually wrote us an email saying:"The error that caused the issue has been resolved, and we have recalled the inaccurate bills sent to Mr. Perez.""You guys did something in a matter of four days, that I've been trying to resolve for months"

Perez says he's relieved knowing this mess is finally cleared up and says it only happened with the help of 3 On Your Side.

“It's phenomenal what 3 On Your Side has done for me and for other people."

Banner was very quick to look into this issue for 3 On Your Side and they resolved it rather quickly and we appreciate that.

The statement Banner Health sent to 3 On Your Side can be read below:"Upon learning about the inaccurate bills received by Mr. Perez, we launched an investigation into the issue. The error that caused the issue has been resolved, and we have recalled the inaccurate bills sent to Mr. Perez. Mr. Perez is currently in good standing with Banner Health, with no collections or financial notations in his patient record. We regret the confusion this may have caused."Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

3 On Your Side Investigative Producer

3 On Your Side' Investigative Reporter

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