ED Magedson – Founder
Kleine Dental1333 N. Seminole Trail Madison, Virginia USA
Kleine Dental Jared C. Kleine, DDS, FAGD, PC Be aware of the Patient Financial Responsibility Agreement Madison Virginia
This is really a case of be weary of what you sign. So I'm looking for a Dentist and I walk into their practice. I received the basic medical questionnaire forms to fill out in addition to the "Patient Financial Responsibility Agreement". Some of the literature state's, "billing my insurance company is a courtesy and not an obligation of this office". Okay, fair enough. I continue to read. Upon reading it I find some questionable practices. It goes on to say:
1) "I acknowledge that any insurance claims pending beyond sixty (60) days are my responsibility...I agree to pay interest on the total unpaid monthly balance at the rate of 18% APR, such interest to begin if the account is sixty (60) days past due, and calculated from the date of service".
Meaning, if there is a simple human error with your insurance company, a backlog, or the insurance company does not process your claim within the dental office's time limit, then come the 61 day the customer will be paying the full amount plus 18% interest.
2) "I hereby waive the benefit of my homestead exemption, and all other exceptions". I asked what this meant, and they could not or would not tell me. Later, I did some research and found that the Homestead Exemption provides a variety of protection for the consumer/homeowner. One specifically, prevents "the forced sale of a home to meet the demands of creditors." It also prevents creditors from kicking your family out of your house should you die before paying off your bill. I have never seen such actions placed in the financial agreement of a medical office. Your home could be sold to pay off a $1,000 bill. This should be between you and the collection agency, not the dental office.
3) "I authorize this office or representative to pull my credit report for the purposes of collection activities". Why would they need to pull your credit report? Isn't that the job of the debt collector agency? So, now you're getting multiple hits on your credit report which brings down your credit score.
There were other discrepancies with their "Financial Responsibility Agreement", such as including communication authorization release in their financial release document. That should be a separate document, or rename the document. I was completely confused about what their objective was. Were they a dentist office, debt collection agency, or a debt collection agency providing dental services? I told them I could not sign an agreement which I did not understand. The result was them not wanting to provide dental service unless I paid up front, even though I had dental insurance and was willing to pay what the insurance didn't cover. I walked out of there without dental service, but my rights intact.
Maybe this is an extreme example, but after understanding what this document is, and if I had signed it, I would be allowing this dental office to exponentially charge me (for errors beyond of my control), take my home (should life obstacles happen, and they weren't willing to work with me), and ruin my credit score.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/20/2014 10:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/kleine-dental/madison-virginia-22727/kleine-dental-jared-c-kleine-dds-fagd-pc-be-aware-of-the-patient-financial-responsibi-1125085. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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