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Hospital accounts go to court

By Staff | Jul 24, 2010

Pay up, or you could find yourself in court.

A collection agency for United Hospital District is getting tough with people not paying their medical bills.

On Tuesday, 15 cases were scheduled in “small claims” court in Faribault County District Court.

According to court documents, Sauk Rapids attorney Richard Seierstad is representing UHD to collect any money that’s owed to them.

On May 19, a $75 filing fee for each claim was paid to the court so it could be heard before Judge Douglas Richards.

Seierstad says the cases ended up in conciliation court after he was contacted by a collection agency working with UHD.

Hospital administrator Jeff Lang says neither he nor the business office was aware of any cases taken to court for collection.

On Friday, July 16, settlements were reached in two cases for the amounts of $3,872 and $6,033.

Another person paid the bill in full and a payment agreement was reached on another.

Court officials had no details regarding the settlements.

The 13 remaining bills total slightly more than $20,000, with the most being $4,003 and the least for $389.

The oldest bill dates back to medical services provided in 2005, while one claim includes care given in December 2008.

In all claims Richards ruled in favor of UHD, but that does not guarantee they will receive what it is owed to them.

The losing party has 20 days to appeal the judge’s ruling.

If the appeal period expires and no payment arrangements are made, UHD may garnish wages, bank accounts or other assets. A lien also could be filed against any real estate owned by the debtor.

The judgment goes into effect 20 days after a notice is mailed and extends for 10 years from the date it is issued.

A judgment may be renewed if done before the 10-year period is over.