Will billing requirements change for Washington healthcare companies?

The Washington State attorney general's office said it would consider changes in billing requirements for healthcare companies following various patient complaints against one of the state's largest medical labs, Cellnetix, according to a KING 5 report.

KING 5 and the attorney general's office have heard numerous patients allege that Cellnetix made billing errors and doled out unfair services fees and late penalties.

Two such patients are Tina McFadden and her co-worker Beth DeVaul. The women had medical procedures at Aberdeen, Wash.-based Gray's Harbor Community Hospital, and their lab work was sent to Cellnetix, according to the report. Both women worked out payment plans and wrote checks to Cellnetix, which they claim were cashed. However, they allege the payments were never reflected on their balances, resulting in services fees and late penalties, KING 5 stated.

As of Thursday morning, Cellnetix hadn't acknowledged KING 5's request for an on-camera interview. However, according to the TV station, a company spokesperson did send an email, which said privacy laws prohibit the company's from providing specific information about patients to the media. Additionally, David Keihn, senior vice president and CFO of Cellnetix, also mentioned to KING 5 there is an internal employee who could help patients with billing concerns.

KING 5 asked the attorney general's office if they could help consumers by requiring companies like Cellnetix to do more for patients. According to KING 5, the attorney general's office told the TV station monthly statements aren't legally required, but that the office was open to considering whether such as change would be in consumers' best interest.


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