Veteran gets help in billing snafu

Michael Stone, Equal Justice Works Fellow Sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Hogan Lovells

Michael Stone, Equal Justice Works Fellow Sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Hogan Lovells

A Harford County veteran who was incorrectly billed $3,000 for ambulance service and sued had the judgment against him vacated with the help of HPRP.

The veteran, who has a 100-percent disability rating, was receiving treatment at a VA healthcare facility and was referred to a private hospital for some follow-up treatment. A private ambulance company transported the disabled veteran from the VA to the private hospital, but instead of billing the veteran’s insurance (the VA), they stuck him with the entire bill. Despite several attempts of the family to get the ambulance company to bill the VA as they were supposed to, the company insisted on billing the family.

The family attempted unsuccessfully to have the VA pay the bill, but the agency needed to be billed by the company. The company eventually sued the family—and not for the lower VA negotiated rate, but the private rate of over $3,000, after attorney’s fees.

“His wife contacted me for help because the company was seeking to file a judgment against the veteran for the total bill,” said Michael Stone, HPRP’s Equal Justice Works Fellow Sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Hogan Lovells. “With only a few days before the deadline, I got them legal help to vacate the judgment. I also reached out to some contacts in the veteran legal community and the VA to deal with the underlying bill.”

Last week, Mike (who runs HPRP’s Rural Veterans Legal Assistance Project) was notified that the VA had identified and contacted the veteran to work out the problem. “I feel like without my reaching out, the family would have had a large judgment against them and would have been stuck with the entire bill,” he added.

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