NPAS, Inc. – CFPB Complaint ID 3082213

Date Received: 2018-11-24T00:00:00

Product: Medical debt

Issue: Communication tactics

Consumer Consent Provided to Share Complaint: Consent provided

Consumer Complaint: Before a surgical procedure, the patient chose XXXX XXXX because he was looking for a lower procedural cost and cost transparency. The patient was informed verbally several times that the patient portion had been paid in full prior to the procedure. The patient was not expecting to receive any bills from XXXX XXXX or NPAS because of the reassurance provided by the XXXX XXXX registration staff.

Only one letter was received from NPAS dated XX/XX/2018 regarding this alleged debt of {$5000.00}. Not a single phone call was ever received from NPAS by the patient regarding an alleged debt. Several phone calls were made to the patients spouse and two voice messages were left on the spouses voicemail, starting on XX/XX/2018. None of the calls were answered. NO LETTER WAS RECEIVED BY THE PATIENT after messages were left on the spouses phone. At the date of service, the spouse was not married to the patient. Her phone number was listed as an emergency contact. The patients phone number was listed in the patients information, yet there was never an attempt to reach the patient.

It is concerning that Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information may have been breached under the Code of Federal Regulations 45 CFR 164.501. NPAS referred to their communications as ” communication from a debt collector. ” Under 45 CFR 164.501, a debt collector can only obtain the Name and address, Date of birth, Social security number, Payment history, Account number ; and Name and address of the health care provider and/or health plan.

If the spouse ‘s phone number was disclosed by XXXX XXXX to NPAS, this appears to be an inappropriate use of Personal Health Information ( PHI ). The patient takes HIPAA compliance and PHI very seriously and thereby requests a copy of all information disclosed by XXXX XXXX XXXX to NPAS, Inc. so the patient can review potential breaches of HIPAA and PHI compliance.

As per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ( FDCPA ), Within 5 days after the initial communication NPAS is required to to send a written notice containing the alleged debt amount and the name of the business to whom the alleged debt is owed.

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The letter dated XX/XX/2018 was the first letter received from NPAS. The letter states the alleged debt balance is due on XX/XX/2018. The patient collected his mail on Friday night, XX/XX/2018 due to the XXXX holiday. This effectively gives the patient only one business day to handle the alleged debt. Not only do these practices break federal law, but they also gave a completely unreasonable timeframe for resolve or dispute.

Again, as per the FDCPA, a letter is required to be sent within 5 days of initial communication. Until recently, the patient was not initially aware of messages left on his spouses phone as she assumed they were spam calls and spam messages. NO LETTER WAS EVER SENT to the patient prior to the letter previously mentioned. There are records and photographs of every letter sent to the patient ‘s residence by the United States Postal Service. The address has not changed recently. The residence was established before the XX/XX/2018 service date.

FDCPA law states that the consumer has the right to dispute the debt within thirty days after receipt of the notice. Since no letter was sent after attempts of initial communication with the patients spouse, NPAS clearly violated the FDCPA.

Since NPAS did not follow the rules set forth in the Fair Debt Collections Act and potentially violated 45 CFR 164.501, the patient does not believe the alleged debt to be legally valid. Such violations of the FDCPA are not permitted under Federal Law and other relevant Federal and State Agencies as well as relevant non-Government parties will be notified of these unfair and potentially deceitful practices.

It also appears that NPAS may be violating the FDCPA by ” Furnishing certain deceptive forms. It is unlawful to make the false impression that someone other than the creditor ( i.e. debt collector ) is participating in the collection of the debt. The resources for paying online ( XXXX ) and the address to pay your bill are all property of XXXX XXXX. From what can be seen on the forms, it doesnt appear that NPAS is directly involved in collecting and/or handling debt.

On XXXX XXXX website, they refer to NPAS is their extended business office. It is concerning that the original creditor is posing as a third party that is attempting to collect a debt.

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If the claim is not paid in a timely manner, it may be referred to our extended business office, National Patient Account Services ( NPAS ).

XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX states that NPAS is not a collection agency and does not report to the credit bureau . However, their voice messages clearly state that NPAS is calling on behalf of XXXX XXXX XXXX. They say in their voice message, This is a communication from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information that is obtained will be used for that purpose.

XXXX XXXX XXXX There are disturbing contradictions from XXXX XXXX on who NPAS is and what services they actually provide. The parent corporation XXXX owns both NPAS and XXXX XXXX Hospitals.

Company: NPAS, Inc.

State/Zip: AZ 85255

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Company Response to Complaint: Closed with explanation

Was Company Response Timely: Yes

Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: N/A

Complaint ID: 3082213

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