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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19312
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I was admitted to a local hospital shock. Two days later i

Customer Question

I was admitted to a local hospital for anaphylactic shock. Two days later i lost my job. I received an invoice from the hospital for $800. I wrote to the hospital explaining my plight and that I would have to transition to COBRA at a cost of $500+ per month and asked for a consideration. When they contacted me they would not agree to a settlement amount so I set up payments.
I began the process to transition to COBRA but it is not very timely. In the meantime I had doctors appointments totally unrelated to the hospital visit. I received an invoice for $800+ from the physician. I called to let them know that my insurance had transitioned and asked that they submit the claims again. The physicians agent said that they accessed my hospital billing information and said that I told the hospital I had no insurance. I explained that I did have insurance but I did not have a job. She agreed to verify the insurance which she did.
Question is: does the physician have the right to hospital billing records that had nothing to do with my visit to the ER.? Does the hospital have a right to divulge that information to them.
I recently lost my job and had to transition my insurance to COBRA.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It's not illegal to release that information, because your billing information is not covered by HIPAA when transferred within the holding entity for purposes of "billing information and payment activities." A doctor has the right to know and understanding billing options, as a means of deciding what actions they will take with the patient, be it treatment, future billing options, payment plans, etc.

So yes, the physician absolutely does have the right to that information and it is not legal protected from this type of disclosure to a covered entity (a treating physician).