Barrow Regional Medical Center
I was a patient in Barrow Regional for three days, which landed me with a $14, 000.00 bill. As I am on Medicare, they paid all but $900.00 within one month of the billing. I received a call from the business office asking about payment. I set up a $50.00 a month payment plan with that rep. A week later, I was contacted again, and I explained the plan already established. The next thing I know, I was being sent to a collection agency who reported to the credit bureau in spite of my arrangements. I spoke to the supervisor of billing who “fixed” the problem. Although he personally was quite helpful, it appears Barrow’s billing/reporting practices stayed the same. It took me nine months to have it removed from my credit report. The same month I finally had it removed, my husband paid our bills as I was sick. Barrow refuses to send a bill or payment reminder, so it is up to me to remember each month. I have never known a company to refuse to send a bill at it almost seems it is an intentional setup for disaster. Since my husband did not see a bill, he didn’t know to pay it. Within FIVE days, I noticed the error, called, and paid it. When I spoke to the woman in the office explaining the error, I asked if I needed to bring the payment in person or just mail it to avoid a collection problem. She laughed at the idea that they were that petty and assured me there was no problem. They received it the next day, and I got a letter from the collection department later that week. It appears Barrow gives you no grace period, no bill, no reminder, and will report you to credit agencies even one day after your bill is due. I went in to the office today and the lady pulled my file and showed me that they sent it to collections the day AFTER they received my payment. I saw it on the computer myself. Since any number of things can happen that could cause a bill to be a little late, it would be only ethical for this company to at least send out an email or pick up the phone to check or remind their clients – just in case. There is a reason the state suggests 10 days grace period and why the credit bureau only reports accounts that are 30 days or more past due. Barrow would do well to follow suit. As it is, the care I received while there was pathetic, and I was billed for things I never received but I didn’t complain because it was petty. I have since heard horrible things about this hospital, none of which I can speak about with certainty but one thing is for sure – I will NEVER go to this hospital again, nor will I recommend it to anyone else. STAY AWAY!