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How to defend yourself ! from Hospital Costs

Posted on December 21, 2008 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (0)
October 3, 2008
Thank you for visiting the Fairness Foundation and Hospitalvictims.org. We regret to inform you that recently, our Founder and Chairman, J. Patrick Rooney, passed away. Because of his death, the Board of Trustees has determined that it is necessary to close the Foundation and its advocacy program. Effective the above date, we will no longer accept new clients.
However, the process to negotiate your hospital bills is available to you on our websites through October 31, 2008: www.fairnessfoundation.org or www.hospitalvictims.org. If you follow the recommended steps, you should be able to effectively negotiate an equitable billing.
Sincerely,



http://www.consejohelp.org/hospital.asp


Boca Raton Community Hospital Costs


"Let's make it right, together." T



Boca Raton Community


Boca Raton Community Hospital (Boca Raton, FL)charges 370% times its costs. That is 316% times what Johns Hopkins charges!
On average, Boca Raton Community Hospital charges 3.2 times what Johns Hopkins charges, ranked the finest hospital in America.
Look at the price comparisons of Johns Hopkins versus Boca Raton Community Hospital .

Compare OverallCompare Ancillary Services
JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL: The reason for comparing to Johns Hopkins Hospital? It is one of the finest hospitals in America. If they don't overcharge, why should your hospital overcharge?

370%
117%
Mark UpBoca Raton Community Hospital vs. Johns Hopkins
Boca Raton Community Hospital list prices are outrageous. On average Boca Raton Community Hospital grants a 74% discount to people with insurance. How much of a discount did they give you?
If Johns Hopkins is the best hospital in America, why is this hospital so much more expensive?

Bethesda Memorial HospitalLooking for information on a different hospital? Click here.
Bethesda Memorial Hospital (Boynton Beach, FL)charges 500% times its costs. That is 427% times what Johns Hopkins charges!
On average, Bethesda Memorial Hospital charges 4.3 times what Johns Hopkins charges, ranked the finest hospital in America.
Look at the price comparisons of Johns Hopkins versus Bethesda Memorial Hospital .
Compare OverallCompare Ancillary Services
JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL: The reason for comparing to Johns Hopkins Hospital? It is one of the finest hospitals in America. If they don't overcharge, why should your hospital overcharge?

500%
117%
Mark UpBethesda Memorial Hospital vs. Johns Hopkins
Bethesda Memorial Hospital list prices are outrageous. On average Bethesda Memorial Hospital grants a 74% discount to people with insurance. How much of a discount did they give you?
If Johns Hopkins is the best hospital in America, why is this hospital so much more expensive?

Delray Medical CenterLooking for information on a different hospital? Click here.
Delray Medical Center (Delray Beach, FL)charges 582% times its costs. That is 497% times what Johns Hopkins charges!
On average, Delray Medical Center charges 5.0 times what Johns Hopkins charges, ranked the finest hospital in America.
Look at the price comparisons of Johns Hopkins versus Delray Medical Center .
Compare OverallCompare Ancillary Services
JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL: The reason for comparing to Johns Hopkins Hospital? It is one of the finest hospitals in America. If they don't overcharge, why should your hospital overcharge?

582%
117%
Mark UpDelray Medical Center vs. Johns Hopkins
Delray Medical Center list prices are outrageous. On average Delray Medical Center grants a 82% discount to people with insurance. How much of a discount did they give you?
If Johns Hopkins is the best hospital in America, why is this hospital so much more expensive?
Defend Yourself!

"What a relief to know this has been resolved."Susie and Dwight Dodd, 8/30/05Are you one of the over 47 million Americans that are uninsured? Are you facing financially impossible hospital bills?Did you know that you may not have to pay what they say you owe?The Fairness Foundation provides the information and support necessary to help the uninsured negotiate for a reasonable charge.Many not-for-profit hospitals are indeed Very profitable.Informing the hospital that you have no health insurance is the beginning of a financial nightmare for the uninsured! You become a target, much like walking in with a bull’s eye on your chest, all because the uninsured are charged a higher charge than those with insurance or Medicare. Everyone gets a discount on their hospital bill, everyone EXCEPT the uninsured.
Some hospitals now offer "self-pay" discounts to everyone. We have found that the discounts barely make a dent in the overcharged, outrageous bill, in the first place.Many times hospitals refuse to provide a reduction in the uninsured’s bill. Is it fair that you are penalized because you have no one to negotiate a fair and equitable rate? We believe you should have the same consideration of those with insurance.Hospitals have been known to garnish wages, seize cars even take people's homes as payment. They will and do take people to court! Is this fair?Let us help you find your way out of the maze of unreasonable charges! We are here to help.HospitalVictims.org and its team of advocates will show you what type of discount your hospital provides to someone with insurance.We will show you the actual cost to hospitals (as opposed to how much they charge) to provide a service. Those facts will help determine whether the amount you've been charged is reasonable.Keep in mind, even if the hospital gives you a discount, they could still be overcharging. That's important because the courts have repeatedly said that hospitals are only entitled to collect a reasonable amount for their services.If you believe that what you have been charged is unreasonable rate, we'll give you suggestions on how to fight back, we provide ideas on how to protect your assets and your credit. Our suggestions identify steps to get a collection agency to quit harassing you. If it is necessary we will give additional assistance to help you accomplish that. Being uninsured doesn't mean you are without rights.We are here to help!Pulitzer Prize Winning Investigative Journalists Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele from their book, "Critical Condition," released October 4, 2004
-->Highlights
Hospital overcharging examples
What hospitals do NOT want you to know
Hospital prices revealed
Get expert advice
Rampant Overcharging:"Almost everybody knows that a hospital stay can be hazardous to your financial health if you don't have insurance. "What isn't so well known is that hospitals charge the highest prices to those who don't have insurance. In other words, those least able to pay are charged the most. In a system riddled with inequities, this may be the most egregious... "Studies show an uninsured person who is not backed by the muscle of a pool is billed three, four, five, sometimes as much as ten times more than an insurance company whose patient has the exact same treatment."
Notice: The Fairness Foundation is only providing information. Such information is not legal advice. Legal advice can only come from a duly-licensed attorney in your State. The Fairness Foundation encourages you to consult with an attorney on legal matters as there are time limits that could adversely affect your legal rights.
How to
Defend
Yourself:
1.Register your case with the Fairness Foundation.
2.Request a copy of the itemized statement from the hospital via telephone.
3. Request a copy of the UB-92 or UB-04 from the hospital in writing. Send the appropriate letter to the hospital or bill collector.
4. Make copies
5. Mail copies to hospital, collection agency, and credit bureaus via certified mail with return receipt.
6. Save a copy for your records.
Rampant Overcharging:
"Almost everybody knows that a hospital stay can be hazardous to your financial health if you don't have insurance.
"What isn't so well known is that hospitals charge the highest prices to those who don't have insurance. In other words, those least able to pay are charged the most. In a system riddled with inequities, this may be the most egregious...
"Studies show an uninsured person who is not backed by the muscle of a pool is billed three, four, five, sometimes as much as ten times more than an insurance company whose patient has the exact same treatment."
~ Pulitzer Prize Winning Investigative Journalists Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele from their book, "Critical Condition," released October 4, 2004

Our investigation has uncovered:
Price gouging - many hospitals bill uninsured patients 3 to 4 times what they'd accept as payment from insurance. Examples
Hospitals are merciless with the uninsured - they take homes, savings, ruin credit, and garnish wages all to receive the outrageously high prices they charge the uninsured.
Hospitals make big profits from the uninsured - the typical bill to the uninsured represents a price that's 3 to 4 times the hospital's reported costs
- Report from the Fairness Foundation5835 West 74th StreetIndianapolis, Indiana 46278
HOW TO FILE A HEALTH INFORMATION PRIVACY COMPLAINT WITH THE OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

If you believe that a person, agency or organization covered under the HIPAA Privacy Rule ("a covered entity") violated your (or someone else's ) health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy Rule, you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR has authority to receive and investigate complaints against covered entities related to the Privacy Rule. A covered entity is a health plan, health care clearinghouse, and any health care provider who conducts certain health care transactions electronically. For more information about the Privacy Rule, please look at our responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and our Privacy Guidance. (See the web link near the bottom of this form.)
Complaints to the Office for Civil Rights must: (1) Be filed in writing, either on paper or electronically; (2) name the entity that is the subject of the complaint and describe the acts or omissions believed to be in violation of the applicable requirements of the Privacy Rule; and (3) be filed within 180 days of when you knew that the act or omission complained of occurred. OCR may extend the 180-day period if you can show "good cause." Any alleged violation must have occurred on or after April 14, 2003 (on or after April 14, 2004 for small health plans), for OCR to have authority to investigate.
Anyone can file written complaints with OCR by mail, fax, or email. If you need help filing a complaint or have a question about the complaint form, please call this OCR toll free number: 1-800-368-1019. OCR has ten regional offices, and each regional office covers certain states. You should send your complaint to the appropriate OCR Regional Office, based on the region where the alleged violation took place. Use the OCR Regions list at the end of this Fact Sheet, or you can look at the regional office map to help you determine where to send your complaint. Complaints should be sent to the attention of the OCR Regional Manager of the appropriate office for your region.
You can submit your complaint in any written format. We recommend that you use the OCR Health Information Privacy Complaint Form which can be found on our web site or at an OCR Regional office. If you prefer, you may submit a written complaint in your own format. Be sure to include the following information in your written complaint:
Your name, full address, home and work telephone numbers, email address.
If you are filing a complaint on someone's behalf, also provide the name of the person on whose behalf you are filing.
Name, full address and phone of the person, agency or organization you believe violated your (or someone else's) health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy Rule.
Briefly describe what happened. How, why, and when do believe your (or someone else's) health information privacy rights were violated, or the Privacy Rule otherwise was violated?
Any other relevant information.
Please sign your name and date your letter.
The following information is optional:
Do you need special accommodations for us to communicate with you about this complaint?
If we cannot reach you directly, is there someone else we can contact to help us reach you?
Have you filed your complaint somewhere else?

The Privacy Rule, developed under authority of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), prohibits the alleged violating party from taking retaliatory action against anyone for filing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights. You should notify OCR immediately in the event of any retaliatory action.
To submit a complaint with OCR, please use one of the following methods. If you mail or fax the complaint, be sure to follow the instructions above for determining the correct regional office. Option 1: Open and print out the Health Information Privacy Complaint Form in PDF format (you will need Adobe Reader software) and fill it out. Return the completed complaint to the appropriate OCR Regional Office by mail or fax. Option 2: Download the Health Information Privacy Complaint Form in Microsoft Word format to your own computer, fill out and save the form using Microsoft Word. Use the Tab and Shift/Tab on your keyboard to move from field to field in the form. Then, you can either: (a) print the completed form and mail or fax it to the appropriate OCR Regional Office; or (b) email the form to OCR at [email protected] Option 3: If you choose not to use the OCR-provided Health Information Privacy Complaint Form (although we recommend that you do), please provide the information specified above and either: (a) send a letter or fax to the appropriate OCR Regional Office; or (b) send an email OCR at [email protected]. If you require an answer regarding a general health information privacy question, please view our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you still need assistance, you may call OCR (toll-free) at: 1-866-627-7748. You may also send an email to [email protected] with suggestions regarding future FAQs. Emails will not receive individual responses.
Website: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa
OCR Regional Addresses
Region I -CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VTOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human ServicesJFK Federal Building - Room 1875Boston, MA 02203(617) 565-1340; (617) 565-1343 (TDD)(617) 565-3809 FAX
Region VI - AR, LA, NM, OK, TXOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services1301 Young Street - Suite 1169Dallas, TX 75202(214) 767-4056; (214) 767-8940 (TDD)(214) 767-0432 FAX
Region II - NJ, NY, PR, VIOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services26 Federal Plaza - Suite 3313New York, NY 10278(212) 264-3313; (212) 264-2355 (TDD)(212) 264-3039 FAX
Region VII - IA, KS, MO, NEOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services601 East 12th Street - Room 248Kansas City, MO 64106(816) 426-7278; (816) 426-7065 (TDD)(816) 426-3686 FAX
Region III - DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WVOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services150 S. Independence Mall West - Suite 372Philadelphia, PA 19106-3499(215) 861-4441; (215) 861-4440 (TDD)(215) 861-4431 FAX
Region VIII - CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WYOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services1961 Stout Street - Room 1426Denver, CO 80294(303) 844-2024; (303) 844-3439 (TDD)(303) 844-2025 FAX
Region IV - AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TNOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services61 Forsyth Street, SW. - Suite 3B70Atlanta, GA 30323(404) 562-7886; (404) 331-2867 (TDD)(404) 562-7881 FAX
Region IX - AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU, The U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island JurisdictionsOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services50 United Nations Plaza - Room 322San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 437-8310; (415) 437-8311 (TDD)(415) 437-8329 FAX
Region V - IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WIOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services233 N. Michigan Ave. - Suite 240 Chicago, IL 60601(312) 886-2359; (312) 353-5693 (TDD)(312) 886-1807 FAX
Region X - AK, ID, OR, WAOffice for Civil RightsU.S. Department of Health & Human Services2201 Sixth Avenue - Mail Stop RX-11Seattle, WA 98121(206) 615-2290; (206) 615-2296 (TDD)(206) 615-2297 FAX

 

CREDIT CARD COMPLAINTS

Posted on December 21, 2008 at 2:54 AM Comments comments (0)

www.truthaboutcredit.org
The Federal Reserve Board and other regulators have shocked the banks by proposing strong rules to ban unfair credit card practices that prey upon students and others. We need your help to make their rules final.

If you believe you are the victim of unfair interest rate charges, late
fees or other penalties, or deceptive marketing, and the credit card
company fails to address your complaint, file complaints with your
state Attorney General’s offi ce (www.naag.org) and the national Offi
ce of the Comptroller of the Currency (which regulates most of the
biggest credit card companies and will forward your complaint to a
different regulator if needed).


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Website: www.occ.treas.gov/customer.htm
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-613-6743
Address: Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710
Houston, TX 77010





http://myfloridalegal.com/




If you have a problem involving your credit card, first try to resolve it directly with the store or the credit card company. If that doesn’t work, you may want to file a complaint with your state’s attorney general or banking agency. You may also file a complaint with the federal agency responsible for enforcing consumer credit laws for your credit card company.
Credit cards issued by state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve SystemFederal Reserve Consumer HelpPO Box 1200Minneapolis, MN 55480888-851-1920 (Phone)877-766-8533 (TTY)877-888-2520 (Fax)Email:

[email protected]
http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov/
See “How to File a Consumer Complaint about a Bank”.
Credit cards issued by banks with “national” in the name or “N.A.” after the nameComptroller of the CurrencyCustomer Assistance Group1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450Houston, TX 770101 (800) 613-6743 (toll-free)
http://www.occ.treas.gov/


Credit cards issued by state banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve SystemFederal Deposit Insurance CorporationConsumer Response Center2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 100Kansas City, MO 64108 1 (877) 275-3342 (toll-free)http://www.fdic.gov/

Credit cards issued by federal savings and loan associations and federal savings banksOffice of Thrift SupervisionConsumer Programs1700 G Street, NW, 6th Floor Washington, DC 20552 1 (800) 842-6929 (toll-free)http://www.ots.treas.gov/

Credit cards associated with federal credit unionsNational Credit Union AdministrationOffice of Public and Congressional Affairs1775 Duke StreetAlexandria, VA 22314-34281 (800) 755-1030 (toll free)(703) 518-6409 (Fax)http://www.ncua.gov/

Credit cards issued by finance companies or stores, and matters related to auto dealers, mortgage companies, and credit bureausFederal Trade CommissionConsumer Response Center - 240600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20580 1 (877)-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) (toll-free)http://www.ftc.gov/

 

HEALTH INSURANCE COMPLAINT

Posted on December 21, 2008 at 2:53 AM Comments comments (0)

Get Smart About Insurance!


Finding an insurance company can be a challenge.




The NAIC’s Consumer Information Source (CIS) provides information about insurance companies you can use BEFORE purchasing insurance.


Using the input fields in the right-hand column of this page, you can access key information about insurance companies, including closed insurance complaints, licensing information and key financial data.
Get More InformationThe NAIC and state insurance regulators are committed to helping every American be a smarter insurance consumer. Our award-winning Insure U education program provides tips and special considerations on a variety of insurance issues. Available in English and Spanish, Insure U also provides insurance information specifically for small business owners.


Visit http://www.insureuonline.org/ to learn more.


File an Insurance Complaint Do you have a specific problem with an insurance company, broker, agent or adjuster?


to file a complaint with your state insurance department.


FLORIDA:




Division of Consumer Services



.