This happened to me recently and I am laughing my butt off...
Last week, I got a phone call one night from a collection agency saying I owed them $250 and would I like to pay it over the phone?
Me; "Oh Yea? What do I owe this money FOR?"
Them; "Lab work...."
Me; What Lab?
Them; The lab but you can pay it over the phone right now and clear this all up!"
Me; "First, I want to make SURE I owe for it before I pay it so WHO did I owe it to?"
Them; "The LAB!"
Me "WHAT LAB?"
Them; "The lab the sample was sent to! Don't you want to clear this up and you CAN DO IT OVER THE PHONE RIGHT NOW!"
Me; "If it is for lab work, my insurance would have paid it and I would Rather find out why they did not, probably a coding error that can be fixed, so WHAT LAB?!!!!
Them (again) "the lab where the sample was SENT!"
OK, I could see I was getting nowhere so I tired a different approach...
Me; "What doctor sent the samples in?"
Them; We don't have that information, you OWE it so why not pay it RIGHT NOW!?"
Me; "You must think I am CRAZY! I pay my bills and if I do indeed owe it, it WILL be paid but I want to be satisfied FIRST that I actually owe it! You are not getting a dime out of me until I can verify I owe you!"
We ended the conversation with her promising to send me a bill..
Next day I called my insurance provider and they had no record of any labs on me much less one that was rejected.
Then I get a second call from the same collection agency and this one provided me the date and doctors name and I told him OK, what I need now is the Labs NAME and PHONE NUMBER so we can figure out WHY my insurance didn't pay it and have no record of it ever being submitted. The dude HUNG UP!
By now I am convinced this is just a scam!
Yesterday I went to the doctors office and told them the story of these calls. The person I needed to see wasn't there but I left word for her to call me. She called and I told her the story and told her I needed the name and phone number of the lab.. I got it.. But in looking over it all, she told me "WAIT.....!" She said on the Labs paperwork, they have my last name mis-spelled.. She compared the labs paperwork to what they sent with the sample and the doctors was right, the Lab had mis-spelled it..
This is where it gets really funny. That lab had no record of me so on a 3 way call, she called the collection agency they use and they had NO record of me either under the misspelled or correctly spelled name. So they tried entering me in the computer under birthday... nothing, address.. nothing so we tried the social and BINGO. He pulled it up and someone had put in not only a misspelled last name, but wrong address (all numbers were there but in the wrong order), also they had ALL my insurance information entered in wrong too.. All insurance information was wrong. "i" was entered as "L" and there were a lot of "I's"...
End of the story is it has all been re-entered correctly and I am highly amused.
Moral of the story.. Please be sure you hire people who can type if they are entering such important information in on a computer!