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Collecting acct on deceased

  1. #1
    Default Collecting acct on deceased
    Medical Coding Books
    Does anybody know the rules on collecting outstanding balance on patients that are deceased.

    ie: Husband pasted away and the wife sends the bill back and across the front of the bill is written deceased?

    Any ideas? Thanks

  2. #2
    Location
    Columbia, MO
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    Default
    I am thinking she did not like getting a bill for someone that passed away! You might check the laws in your state to see if you can "bill" the deceased's estate.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  3. #3
    Default
    I agree with the aforementioned; you need to read the laws on delinquent accounts for deceased. As a business manager I write off all balances of anyone who is deceased, if they are deceased they cannot repay the medical bill, and the wife or relatives should not be held responsible, unless, of course, your office has a written agreement from the wife that in the event of her husband passing she would be responsible for any outstanding balance. If you continue to send her bills or call her she may pursue legal actions against the office, which is her right according to the credit act, so I would definitely reconsider trying to collect on the debt in this case.
    Have a great week!
    Shandell

  4. #4
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    I agree that you should check the laws in your state. However I believe that whoever inherits the estate, also inherits the estate's liabilities. I think you would be well within your rights to attempt to collect from the patient's estate, no matter who owns it now. Whether it's a good PR thing to do is another question altogether!
    Walker Bachman, CPC, CPPM

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