BIXBY, Okla. — A Bixby couple is warning others to check their hospital bills carefully if they want to avoid a potential hit to their credit score.
Deidre Lewellyn gave birth to her daughter Evara in April and says she wasn't concerned about the hospital bill since she has insurance. However, Lewellyn says despite immediately paying her portion of the bills, one day it wasn't listed online anymore.
"I logged on to pay the bill because I received an invoice in the mail and online and one of the two billing accounts wasn't there," she says. "The due date of that bill was Oct. 4."
The bill had been sent to collection several weeks before it was due.
Lewellyn says she immediately called the hospital's billing department and requested they pull it back from collections.
"They said you need to set up a payment plan and I said, 'why would I set up a payment plan when I pay my bills regularly?" she says.
2 News Oklahoma reached out to Hillcrest Hospital after they finally agreed to let Lewellyn pay the bill in full.
"Patients should call and set up a payment plan if they are unable to pay their statement in full," Hillcrest said in a statement. "After four consecutive statements, the automated system will send unpaid bills to collections if a payment plan has not been established."
A bill like this being sent to collections early can impact the patient's credit score.
Hillcrest offered the following advice to patients for paying their bills:
"If you're a self-pay patient and unable to pay the bill in full then it's suggested, you have that discussion prior to receiving elective services. Communication, setting up a payment plan and consistent agreed-upon payments are key to avoid any type of collection activity. When you receive your first statement, call the phone number on the statement, and make a set budget plan to avoid being sent to collections."
See this full story WEDNESDAY on 2 News Oklahoma at 10 p.m.
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