How long does a medical facility have to bill for payment?

UPDATED: May 31, 2011

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How long does a medical facility have to bill for payment?

I received medical services 1 year ago and just received a bill for an outstanding amount. The facility billed my insurance company and says I owe the balancee. However there is no information as to when they billed insurance. The only information on the bill is the date of service; the bill was prepared 5 days ago. Of course, they want their money within 30 days. After over a year, are they still entitled to collect if they have never previously billed me?

Asked on May 31, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) A creditor can attempt legally to bill any time within the "statute of limitations" for that debt in that state, since the SOL defines how long the creditor has to enforce a debt. Assuming there was some written agreement as to the medical services, that gives the creditor up to 5 years to take action. They may seek to collect any time within thhat period, and not having previously billed does not prevent them from billing.

2) It's not uncommon for a bill for medical services to rise  up months after the service, since the provider would first often  be waiting to see how much was paid by the insurer, which--insurers being what they are--can take months to resolve.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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