So far, my GW letters to medical CAs have been futile. I’ve been doing some digging and came across the healthcare reporting guidelines from the “Medical Debt Collection Task Force”. Available for download here: http://www.hfma.org/content.aspx?id=21230
The response I always get from these CAs is that it is “against the law” to remove the entries from the CR. This document pretty much says the opposite.
From page 8:
If a provider/business afiliate elects to report an outstanding debt to a credit bureau and the debt is subsequently satisfied (includes accepting a settlement for less than full value as paid in full), the hospital should establish a policy stating the patient’s credit report should be updated to reflect the account’s resolution. It is at the discretion of the hospital as to whether this requires removal of paid accounts from the report or to have them marked as paid but leave them on the report. In either scenario, it is the responsibility of the provider/agency to report the satisfaction of an account to credit bureaus. Providers/agencies that choose not to report to credit bureaus are exempt from this step.
From page 12:
Reporting to credit bureaus. Providers may choose not to report past due accounts to credit bureaus. However, it is the position of this task force that if reporting has occurred, it is the responsibility of the reporting entity (either provider or business affiliate) to also report back to the bureau if the account is resolved. The task force suggests that a negative listing for medical debt be removed or reported as resolved on a consumer’s credit report within 45 days of account resolution. In this way, the consumer is not penalized beyond resolution of the account.
In a nutshell, I’m going to stop GWing the CAs and begin GWing the providers. I’m thinking this may, potentially, yield better results – it negates the idea that deletion is illegal and also removes the burden from the CA onto the OC – who is probably much easier to deal with, since they now have their $ $ $ . Since CAs are considered “agents” or “partners” of the provider when it comes to medical collections, the provider sets the rules for reporting (or deletion).